Single or Double Fulcrum?

That third goal hurt. Before then I was convinced we would hammer Rennes at THOF. Now, I am not so sure.

And let’s be clear – we should win this tie. We have a budget of over 10 times Rennes. Lose and we have under performed but … what if we do lose tonight? Might it not be of benefit?

I have never subscribed to the belief that the Europa was there for the taking and that Arsenal would win easily. We are, at best, 3rd favourites with the bookies prediction for us to fall in the semi-finals, as we did last season. By going further, we MAY win it but we will have to play more games in an already packed run-in.

Forget the above nonsense, I am being a Doomer, must be Old Age. Let’s start again …


Tonight has the potential to be one of the highlights of the season. Score early and the Emirates will be rocking, driving the team onto European glory. We had but 10 men for the majority of the away fixture and when we had 11 we were in control, I expect the same tonight. Some clinical finishing, some thoughtful and considered defending and hard work in midfield should see our class tell.

No Sokratis which is a blow, otherwise the team picks itself. Mustafi to replace the Greek Bloke, AMN to continue his fine form unless Mhki is back. IMO, we play the same team which beat Man Utd. It worked. If Mkhi is fit, does Mr Emery play Ozil? And if he does, does he drop Ramsey?

Of course, Mr Emery could choose to play more defensive and go back to the Double Fulcrum, dropping one of the strikers and starting Torreira But I hope he doesn’t, the Single Fulcrum fitted so well to the personnel.

I am excited about this game and really wish I was able to attend. Those European nights under the floodlights with the Emirates rocking make unforgettable memories.

A win on penalties would be thrilling, nerve-wracking but thrilling 😀



94 Responses to Single or Double Fulcrum?

  1. Rasp says:

    Top drawer PM Raddy.

    I agree the third goal was ridiculous, I went mad at the time. What was Monreal doing that high up the pitch … and why didn’t he race back to get in position? It was the guy he would have been marking who got the header (Mr Emery, please sign him, he is a super quick wide player with goals and tricks)

    I am ignoring your first para (as I’m sure you’d prefer) … we must play with confidence and control and take our chances .. then job done!

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Big Rad 🙂

    Yeas we need to go full out on attack and assume we will concede at least a goal. Don’t think we are able to do a Juventus and keep a clean sheet whilst scoring the required number of goals ourselves. So let’s play a midfield three (Kola – Xhaka – AMN) and Ozil and Rambo in the hole and both Auba and Laca up-front.

    Mustafi – Koz – Nacho
    AMN —- Xhaka —— Kola
    ——- Ozil —– Rambo—–
    —–Laca ————Auba —

    Emery’s tactics worked against the Mancs as we were the overall better team. But it came with some risks as we allowed 14 shots on goal and the result could have been different. Against Rennes we just have to go out and attack so I am with you that we should go with a similar line up and approach. COYGs!

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Nice one Raddy, I’m happy you turned an early corner in your post because that’s exactly what Arsenal need to do. They need to forget the effort in Rennes and restart the game in Emirates overdrive.

    I cannot see us losing, we are at home and the Man U victory will still be fresh in their memories so – we will be sure to overcome a 2 goal deficit and win with goals to spare.

  4. RA says:

    I have just finished yesterday’s post/comments and am intrigued by Micky’s and Raddy’s double Dutch lingo exchanges, full of huggies and huggles and BR’s special ‘double fulcrum’.

    What? Worried about those two.

    Up until now there has been ‘technical’ stuff such a ‘pivot’ and ‘double pivot’ — which has always seemed to me — a low brow untechnical person — like a couple of demented hinges.

    Now we have ‘double fulcrums’ and no doubt in due course the ‘quadruple fulcrum/quadruple pivot’ will arrive, demanding more money for all the extra work he does — or maybe that was what Özil already got his massive pay rise for.

    Well for me a ‘pivot man or pivot men’ is the correct terminology, but a gudgeon would be acceptable if we were not playing too well — and possibly in extremis even a fulcrumble.

    Why can’t we just stick to ‘football genius’, like Mesut, and be done with it? 😜

    All that notwithstanding, I enjoyed today’s Post Raddy, especially as it included a fulcrum between Doomer nonsense, and upbeat enthusiast.

    You cater for all tastes, monsieur, including my own negativity, as I think we will go for it like ferrets down a rabbit hole, and get stuffed when the rabbits come out and score.

  5. LBG says:

    Thanks Raddy
    Now you are getting silly, a quadruple fulcrum and pivot would clearly have twelve players on the pitch!!

  6. LBG says:

    Well Patrick Vieira, we are going to have to let you down tonight and knock out your fellow French team (And we know you are only saying it for the press!! You can’t lose really, can you)

  7. RC78 says:

    We must win this game andi deally knock Rennes out. I think we need 4 goals to be safe as our team is good at conceding 🙂

    Leno – Mustafi, Kos, Monreal – AMN, Xhaka, Ouzi, Kola – Rambo – Laca, Auba

  8. RC78 says:

    Forget PKs…Just finish Rennes off in 90 minutes…We have to frustrate Sarr, Ben Arfa, Grenier, André…If already you block André and Grenier, their game will be easier to handle for us. Now Sarr is a real nuisance and Ben Arfa has magic in his feet so he may decide to use it against us because of his troubled times with Emery at PSG…

    The point is that we have the squad to beat them easily.

  9. RC78 says:

    Suggestions for back-up player with a Giroud type of profile:
    – Haller, Mitrovic, Embolo

    For a starting position in a 4321 with Auba and Laca playing behind a striker, check out:
    – Milik, Cavani

    Leno – Bellerin, CB, CB, Kola – NDOMBELE, GUEYE, LT – Laca, Auba – CAVANI

  10. Red Arnie says:

    thank you, Raddy. excellent curtain raiser. 🙂

    very tough ask, but let us see the mettle. coyg.

  11. LB says:

    It’s all getting very exciting……..

    Thanks for the read BR

  12. fred12662000 says:

    yep this will be one for the ages

  13. fred1266 says:

    Think u meant double pivot

  14. JM says:

    My starting team:

    Cech; AMN, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira, Ramsey, Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

    On the bench (and ready to come on):

    Leno, Mustafi, Iwobi, Nketiah, Elneny, Guendouzi, Suarez

    – Torreira was with Emery in the press conference on Friday. He will start. (Usually, there is a high chance that the player who is selected to speak to the media along with the manager for pre-match will start).
    – The team could be starting with a 4-4-2 (diamond), with Xhaka/Torreira at the base and Ozil/Ramsey at the tip. Emery might switch around with changes during the match, depending on circumstances and ongoing result at the time.
    – I would go with my gut feeling that Lacazette shall get a hattrick; he used to be a nuisance and predator against other French league teams during his time at Lyon (for at least 3 or 4 seasons).

    Let us win this match and qualify for the EL’s QF.

  15. RA says:

    You sure it wasn’t ‘double digit’, Fred? 😃

    And it was a play on words.

    I have a photographic memory, but I’ve never developed it. Frankly, when it comes to music Rasper is the man for it. He often says, ‘you can tune a guitar but you can’t tuna fish. Unless you play bass; And he should know.

    He also said ‘denial is a river in Egypt’ and you can’t disagree with that.

    Glad we sorted that out – I gotta go – because time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. So LBG tells me. 🤪

  16. RC78 says:

    Lacazette did not score much against Rennes in the French league…I think only 2 goals while he played there

  17. RC78 says:

    Arsenal manager still interested in Rennes forward’s Sarr

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    I like that JM line-up. It is a night for men (and AMN is that physically)

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    “Tonight has the potential to be one of the highlights of the season”

    You are a queer fish sometimes, Erik

    I think it has the potential to be a lowlight, but winning will certainly be exciting, but then again, beating any team by at least two goals is fun

    I suspect the victory over Utd will play a big part in that the crowd will not only turn up, but be in good and buoyant mood

    I’ll go with the usual get an early goal line

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I am a queer fish most of the time

  21. Red Arnie says:

    “queer fish” 🙂 I thought any fish was queer

  22. fred1266 says:

    Arsenal have been charged by the Football Association after a fan ran on the pitch and confronted Manchester United defender Chris Smalling during Sunday’s Premier League match at Emirates Stadium.

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    How very dare you, Arnie

    Honestly, I thought dealing with Erik was enough

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the game.

  25. mickydidit89 says:


    I don’t believe the FA would allow barbed wire around the pitch, so I think they’d be better off charging the fellow what invaded rather than The Club

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh I’m looking forward to it, however, beating Rennes won’t appear on my season’s highlight reel

    Hope we see Auba and Laca start

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and I do hope Auba doesn’t take any more penalties

  28. Big Raddy says:

    If he hadn’t bolloxed up the Spurs penalty, we would already be ahead of them 😦

  29. fred1266 says:

    Yep micky I agree he is horrendous at it

  30. chas says:

  31. chas says:

    Great PM, BR.

    Cmon you Gunners, let’s ave em.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Utd team, with Must in for Sok. Perfect

    How come they put team sheet up more than an hour before KO?

  33. chas says:

    Presumably it’s only the Prem who insist on the 60 minute thing?

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Yip, maybe

    Gives Rennes an extra 30 mins to understand we’re bothering tonight 😉

  35. chas says:

    FFS Giroud scoring a pointless hat trick for the chavs.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    A hatrick for the FFP. Pleased for him as he enjoys a season as a reserve.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Here we go …


  38. fatgingergooner says:

    I think they’ll score but I fancy us to get a few. A red card for them wouldn’t go amiss. An early goal would really get the crowd involved.

    Fingers crossed

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Great start. Lovely goal

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    What a great goal.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Ooh I like that. Now we are rocking.

    Fast thinking by both PEA and AMN (Cons)

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    so good

  43. RA says:

    Rennes have gone to Plan B — Dive, dive, dive!!

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    I guess we wont get an ‘Aubameyang has discovered the London nightlife comments’ this time round… 😉

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Don’t think much to this referee. Whistle happy

  46. Big Raddy says:

    TA. It was a funny gag especially about a chap with PEA’s scoring record 😀

  47. LB
    Kerching @ 20.58

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    This might end up in queaky bum time.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    Being ahead in this tie seems to be a burden! We were excellent early on when chasing the game and as soon as we go in front the mentality of both teams change and we are pegged back. Really don’t want this scoreline with 10 minutes to go so let’s hope we can grab at least 1 more.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Agree. We seemed to let Rennes back into the game. We need another,

    Some are saying that PEA was offside for the second, not IMO but I have danish commentary

  51. fatgingergooner says:

    Looked offside to me BR.

    Dare I say Mustafi having his best game for a long while.

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    As others have said, a 3rd is necessary, Rennes will be pushing for a goal as it’ll either win it, to them it makes no difference if we score a third right now they still need a goal to stay in tie or take to extra time.

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    Kolasinac stood on Ramsey’s leg in first half which is why he was injured. Don’t think commentators caught it.

    This team love a dive.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Rennes like a dive and the ref is falling for it.

    Mustafi doing his usual. Solid for 95% of the time but the other 5% is a worry

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    PEA was more offside than Kane was in “that” game.

    Need to keep calm and push for a third, at least we know we won’t be going out if they score 1.

  56. fatgingergooner says:


    Let’s hope the other 5% doesn’t appear as he’s been excellent so far.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    We need some Mesut Magic

  58. fatgingergooner says:

    There have been at least 3 occasions this season where I’ve seen our team really celebrate good defensive work.

    It’s good to see.

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    the other 5% ha ha ha

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    I’d take one of the strikers off for Geundouzi or Torreira and try to control the midfield a bit more.

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    this isn’t as much fun as it should be

  62. Big Raddy says:

    No Mesut magic maybe some Mhki Magic.

    Interesting substitutions

  63. fred1266 says:

    Great substitution

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Instantly more passing options and the ability to keep the ball.

    Brilliant by Emery.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Mhki Magic!!

    terrific goal and excellent cross from Wardrobe.

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    All our back 3 have been fantastic.

  67. mickydidit89 says:


    Re the subs. Unai did the same thing against Utd. Instead of trying to protect a lead, he brought on three attack players.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Rennes players fall to the ground even when there is no AFC player within 5 yards

  69. fatgingergooner says:

    Feel like I’m watching the nominees for Most Dramatic Performance. A scream, a spin, and a roll around on the floor seems to be the popular option.

  70. fatgingergooner says:

    Ref lost control a long time ago. Wouldn’t be a shock if there was a red card.

    Should’ve scored.

  71. fatgingergooner says:

    Should’ve scored…..again.

  72. Big Raddy says:

    TA. London Nightlife 😀 😀

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha BR – it could be coming! 😀

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    I suppose if we ever wondered if Ramsey was asked to bomb forward from midfield at every opportunity and leave us light at the back when Wenger was in charge, then we have our answer!

    He’s been brilliant next to Xhaka the last 2 games and we’ve rarely looked light in midfield.

  75. fatgingergooner says:

    Fabulous performance and one that makes me excited about this Emery team. Such a shame Ramsey is leaving when Unai can get performances like these out of him. I thought the whole team worked their socks off and the defence was outstanding. Xhaka starting to show his discipline and he’s much better when he does. Very happy.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Happy with that.

    Given the cheating of the Rennes players, the referee did well.

    Ramsey superb again. Back 3 excellent. Wardrobe a game changer.

  77. fatgingergooner says:

    I’d love us to get Villarreal in the next round so we can see Cazorla once more at the Emirates.

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Through to next round. Very happy about that.

    Now for feet up rest of month and watch teams around us implode 🙂

    Really looking forward to the draw and inking in an away day

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Hoping to use my passport for the next round

  80. fred1266 says:

  81. fred1266 says:

    Why to see him lose nah

  82. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha, Micky 🙂

    yes, very happy. that was some character. everything good except for wasteful Auba. still, you need to create before you can miss. 🙂

  83. LB says:

    The player that impressed me the most tonight was Xhaka, no school boy errors, maybe a few adolescent passes out of place, but I thought he was the pivot, the fulcrum and the anchor that everything revolved around in midfield, absolutely immense and my MOTM.

  84. RC78 says:

    And we re through. The start of the game was key – we extinguished all their fire in 25 minutes…My ratings:
    Cech – 6, not much to do
    AMN – 7, growing confidence and better defensively
    Mustafi – 6, our weakest link but did OK and did it with character
    Kos – 7, the boss
    Monreal – 6, nothing to shout about
    Kola – 7, another assist and did the job well defensively
    Xhak – 7, a good overall well rounded performance and no non-sense
    Ramsey – 7, did well throughout the game and really put in a good shift
    Ozil – 6, great first 30 minutes and faded away
    Auba – 8, 2 goals and should have had 3 and also an assist. Decisive
    Laca – 6, nothing to report but always plays with heart

    Mikhy – 6, did well coming in. As always, the man with the pass before the assist. He can really create imbalance in the opposition with his passing.
    Iwobi – 5. Nervous and could have been sent off
    LT – did not play enough to be graded

    Emery – 8. Kept the same team than vs Utd and it paid off.

  85. fred1266 says:

  86. fred1266 says:

    Iwobi u dick steups

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Morning ALl

    Iwobi needs some lessons in The Arsenal Way.

  88. chas says:


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