Battlers or Bottlers?

Big night for AFC and Gooners are concerned, my guess is that you are too. Yet it all looked so good just a week ago …

It doesn’t take much to burst the bubble of Gooner’s confidence, does it? I don’t understand why this should be – we are not the Nearly Men of N17. We have a trophy cabinet which provides evidence of Arsenal’s ability to grind out results and win trophies. Until just 2 years ago we had been in the CL for 19 successive years, this is not evidence of a team of bottlers.

In other words – we can win tonight.

The Great Dane

Battlers or Bottlers was part of yesterday’s comment discussion. One game will not give a true reflection but IMO we have finally got a team of battlers. Name two players who you think are not up for the fight (OK – I would have to agree – now name three 😀  ). Lack of effort was not the reason we lost on Sunday, it was poor team selection and individual errors.

What of Wolves? Nuno Wagnerito has done a fantastic job and must be in contention for Manager of the Year (Media Darling Klopp will win it). 7th in the table, in the FAC Final  with a team just promoted. Excellent. Expect to see him at Spurs when the Podgy One leaves. Midfield is their strength. They have a good home record, unbeaten in 9.

We, on the other hand, are crap away. This gives cause for concern. The footballing Gods smiled upon us at Watford, we must do all we can to attract good fortune. I will be sacrificing a virgin (if I can find on in Østerbro).

Losing Ramsey was horrible but The Big Greek chap is back and that could be a deciding factor. He has been immense alongside the rejuvenated Koscielny. Keep Mustafi in London, AMN on the right, Nacho on the left. Back 4. Kushti.

The pundits are convinced of a home win. Who do you trust – Lawrenson, Merson, or Unai Emery?

Win 7 games and Top of The World, Ma. Not asking much 🙂



102 Responses to Battlers or Bottlers?

  1. RA says:

    No, Fred, you were beaten by Big Raddy. 🥺

    And a very good pre-match Post BR, thank you.

    As usualI will keep my fingers crossed that we will win, and as I am doubtful these mulligatawnies won’t freeze and allow the upstart wolves to take a bite out of us, I will also keep my toes crossed (quite hard to do) and my eyes crossed, and if no one is looking, my ears crossed.

    That will swing the advantage our way.

  2. RA says:

    I must apologise, Sue, for not making it clear, that I have never had an original thought in my life.

    The ‘old timers’ on AA, will perhaps remember me saying that on more than one occasion previously, and it still holds true, whether it’s football related or any attempt at humour.

    I love striking or funny quotes and the one I mentioned yesterday about height etc, was from Mae West a film star from the 1930s, one of the first ‘feminists’ and witty with it.

    The first one that caught my eye, many years ago, was about a male actor who was a heel, and she said “his mother should have thrown hm out – and kept the stork” — or — about an actress she did not like, “she’s the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success – wrong by wrong” and finally, What did you say – there are ten men at the door waiting for me? – send one of them away – I’m tired”

    Anyway, a long winded way of saying I apologise if I have offended you. If something makes me smile, I sometimes forget others may not think it is funny.😞

  3. Sue says:

    RA.. I found it absolutely hilarious!! I love having a laugh… banter…lowering the tone 😂😂 it didn’t offend me – keep it up!! You are funny and I always look forward to reading your comments!! 😝
    Plus on the odd occasion when I’m being serious, I’ll have to seriously think how I word my comment (as you’ll jump all over it, like earlier!!!) Haha!!

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah Redders, keep it up (all seven CMs) 😀

    Sue, beware of AA’s very own Shakespeare. He is the master flirter 😉

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Raddinski. Chas is a more than worthy replacement for you but it is good to have you back with a bang. I don’t think we can call our boys battlers with the away record we have, but you still have a point.

    Why do I like the sound of sacrificing an Østerbro virgin?! We may well need something like that as Wolves are a fab team and will be smelling Gunners’ blood. Another fine PL story, Wolves play great passing football and are a joy to watch. The manager is such a character but behind the photogenic persona is a clever tactician and great player motivator. I love it when clubs get this right with modest budgets and show the rest of us that romance (and football nous) isn’t dead as yet.

    Hoping for a solid first 11 and a focussed and energetic performance for 90 minutes. We fecking need those three points, so Come On The Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    A very big night lies ahead. Let’s hope they are as lethargic as they were at the weekend when drawing 0-0 at home against Brighton. Somehow I doubt it.

    I can’t believe we haven’t had any Wolves fans on, but I suppose your crack about them being in the FA Cup Final is a wound still far too painful to open again. Being Deeneyed is so traumatic for anyone!

  7. Nuno's Mum says:

    Photogenic persona…..

    Love Nuno’s Mum xxxxxx

    p.s. he takes after me

  8. Nuno's Mum says:

    He looked more like his Dad before he grew his beard long

    Love Nuno’s Mum xoxoxox

  9. chas says:

    Beyond belief

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Good to have you back Raddy; your PM’s are always a fine read.

    Chas was a superb substitute he has been Mr Everything and deserves a rest.

    These away games are very scary with Wolves being the scariest, frankly I would be (pleasantly) shocked if we come away with 3 points.

    I’ve of the opinion that our chances of winning the Europa League are higher than getting in the top four of the PL.

    I cannot see us winning all of our remaining PL games so to make the top four we will need help from Chelsea, Man U and Spurs.
    Here are the remaining games –

    Arsenal –
    Wolves a
    Leicester a
    Brighton h
    Burnley a

    Chelsea –
    Manchester U a
    Watford h
    Leicester a

    Man U –
    Manchester C h
    Chelsea h
    Huddersfield a
    Cardiff City h

    Spurs –
    West Ham h
    Bournemouth a
    Everton h

    Spurs look like a shoo in for 3rd – so who will make the 4th spot?

  11. allezkev says:

    Good post, I think losing to Palace pretty much handed the Spuds 3rd spot, so it’s a three way fight for 4th for us.

    Yes Chas, despite the possible pitfalls I’m more invested in the Europa, you can’t beat a cup – maybe I’m just a glory hunter?

  12. allezkev says:

    Sorry I meant GN5…

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    I can see Spuds just getting two points from those last three games. Whether we can get more than three out of the last four games remains to be seen, though. Real shame tonight’s game is on UK TV. Luckily, we have Fred providing us with verbose commentary on the blog tonight! 🙂

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    You re damn right to be proud, Nuno’s Mum. 🙂

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    * is NOT on UK TV..

  16. Big Raddy says:

    chas. You are the only one who noticed! 😀

  17. Sue says:

    Haha TA.. I thought that 😉😄

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    I noticed it too, BR, but was given you some slack as you’ve only just returned from your Italian booze-fest! Chas, on the other hand, just cannot wait to put somebody straight hahaha 😉

  19. Sue says:

    No green kit tonight! Woohoo! It’s the dark blue/burgundy kit COYG

  20. allezkev says:

    Bruised banana next season?

  21. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy.

    Rumour has it that there were lots of virgins in Oestebro until a certain English chap rocked up. After that the old cliche of “lock up your daughters” was never more poignant 🙂

    Anyway Raddy, I largely agree with you that we are not bottlers in the traditional physical sense, but I do feel we lack mental focus more than other top teams. We don’t seem switched on all through the game and too many players have little moments of becoming too casual which seems to cost us.

    The defeat to palace was a mix of this and too many changes, so that we were having to carry too many of our weaker links all at the same time.

    I also think that we have developed almost too much respect, or maybe more an element of fear, in many games. I think we need to re-develop that big club elitist attitude but without resorting to complacency. As well as Wolves have done this season, and this home record they have, we need to not overly focus on it, but just go there as the Arsenal and play like a team that expects to win but without the assumption that it will just happen however we play.

    We have to turn up with intensity and our A game but play with a mentality that we are the superior team. The mentality in many players is something that seeped in in recent years. UE has managed to change it somewhat this season but elements of it remain in certain games. Lets see our strongest team and then go at them, regardless of them being the home side.

    Where I slightly disagree Raddy is that I feel our strongest 11 (until we add the correct recruitment’s) starts with a back 3 rather than back 4. Full backs / wing backs represent our only true wide options at present and the back 3 allows AMN and Kola more licence to get forward in wide areas without exposing us as much to the counter-attack.

  22. LBG says:

    Fred was your 9.43 “first” for Chas’ Crystal Palace pre match?

  23. GoonerB says:

    Just to clarify, the 3-5-2 is how I would go with kos and Monreal either side of Soc. Our 2 strikers up top receiving ammunition from the wing backs and Ozil in a free role with Terrier and Xhaka protecting behind.

  24. fred1266 says:

    TA once we don’t play crap I will be happy to verbose there commentary

  25. fred1266 says:

    Think chas explained it to be but I forgot

    When u say it not on UK TV does that mean sky sports and why so much trouble to watch football in UK is it because so many people have the writes

  26. fred1266 says:

    Yes we all noticed

  27. RA says:

    Ahoy Matelots,

    Are we all sinking or swimming in a sea of feckless currents?

    Me? I am sailing in the good ship YouWhat hell bent on howling them thar wolves down! 😂

    Anyway, my morning presentation went OK and I can now eat well again, yay, and ….. I got a new contract ……. so if I am not careful I will become a godamned Limey. 👨🏼‍🌾

  28. fred1266 says:

    No was pre match for Wolves

  29. RA says:


    Really relieved by your response this a.m. — I am wot I is — but I do not like to think nice people might misunderstand my bawdy utterances and get upset. 👍

    I used to be a season ticket holder at Highbury, after my father’s passing, and at one time there was a churning of people as the Emirates was nearing completion.

    One Saturday, after I had missed three home games, I arrived just 5 mins before kick off, and as I squeezed past the seated hoi-polloi, there was a distinct moan ensuing from the people in the seats behind me. No idea why. 😜

    Anyway, 10 mins later there was more bickering and weeping as to who had to have the middle seat directly behind me.
    Eventually, I had to turn around to the apoplectic, teary eyed one sitting behind me, and say “look, you have to man up and understand that life is not always fair — so suck it up — stop crying — you are embarrassing your sons.”

    Life can be a beach. 😩

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Freddo, Sky (or is it BT Sport?) have picked the Manchester Derby game and therefore will not live broadcast the Arsenal game. Only one game at a time is broadcasted live. The Saturday 3pm games are never broadcasted live; I think it is to do with making sure that people will go to the stadiums rather than sit at home and watch the/a game at home. If you are an armchair Gooner it is much better to live outside the UK: ridiculous but true………

  31. Sue says:

    TA we’ve not been shown as much recently… which is a bummer for us gooners & not so great for the neutrals (as our games are entertaining! 😂 as you never know which Arsenal will turn up!) You’d think with City being the champions, they’d be shown live the most, but no, for me it’s been everyone’s darlings – Liverpool… urgh….. I value my eyesight, so I don’t tune in 🤣🤣

  32. RA says:


    Tuning in can be difficult — have you tried sticking an index finger in your left ear, and wiggling your right ear and finally moving your tongue in circles?

    At the very least, you will definitely help others get the picture. 🤩

  33. Sue says:

    RA no funnily enough I haven’t! 😄 maybe I should!
    Well it’s hump day… the mighty AFC are playing 😊 so why is my heart racing (possibly the thought of Kolasinac in those tight sleeves) …or the nerves have kicked in.. not just for us, but for City also.. tonight could be the night where it all goes horribly wrong…
    Well done with your presentation & contract btw 👏 not sure i want to ask what your presentation was on 🤔😆

  34. Ant says:

  35. Ant says:

    Bama and Mavro must be injured

  36. chas says:

  37. fred1266 says:

    Couldn’t aubameyang sinus procedure wait until the end of the season

  38. LB says:

    Ahh, a proper team.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Was just going to say, LB. COYGs!

  40. GoonerB says:

    A back 4 and not quite the line up I had hoped for but it seems UE didn’t have much choice. Now I would like to see Iwobi to the right and Micki to the left of Laca rather than the other way round. Lets see if they can play the inside wing forward roles. Anyway COYRRG’s

  41. fred1266 says:

    TA why such a dumb rule only one game can be live

    This is why streaming illegally will never stop

    Or provider is flow and they have like 10 station just so u can see which match you want to watch

  42. RA says:


    I am an accountant, and work on various projects and without boring you, I present ‘the financial pros and cons’, as some might call it, so a company can agree funding, or not.

    I came here to the UK to complete a project and have got more contracts over a number of years.

    Boring accountants, eh? 🤪

    Got to go.

  43. fred1266 says:

    U are so wise ants , let’s hope mustafi stay injured for the remainder of the season

  44. RA says:


    Before I go — you said – “I would like to see Iwobi to the right and Micki to the left of Laca rather than the other way round.” — and they both face South while the team attack North, presumably?

    Sounds good to me.

    Did you seem the advise of one of your camels, by the way? 😏

  45. fred1266 says:

    GB imo it even important were Iwobi and mkhitaryan plays more important than anything is that they have a good game

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Fred it is a dumb rule – the world is full of them my friend.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Normally Wolves away would be a light Valpolicella game but tonight I fear I will be needing the Demerera Rum from Guyana. That should get me through those tense moments.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Like the team. Shame about PEA

    Not a lot of attacking talent on the bench 😦

  49. LBG says:

    Sorry to be talking Mancs ( in advance of course of the only real game tonight). Pundits and apparently stats say criticism on Manshitty’s “hacking”, illegal pressing contract is unfair.
    I refute this and think Pep absolutely encourages that kind of pressing!
    Still “play on ” Marriner will not pick up any of it!

  50. LBG says:

    Still believe Laca is the more natural fox in the box, and certainly will work harder.

  51. John Mathews legend says:

    BR, for me this is an eight half litre cans of cheap French lager match (er…like most of’em)

  52. fatgingergooner says:

    Auba and Kola played a lot recently so good to see them get a rest. I imagine Koscielny will be rested for Leicester assuming he comes through tonight unscathed. The line up is ok but very little on the bench and you never know what you’re going to get with Iwobi, Mkhi and Özil. They need to turn up tonight or could be a bad one.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Mhki has lost his shooting boots, hoping for better later.

    Decent start.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    John. Obviously Danish wages are higher than French 😀

  55. fatgingergooner says:

    Deep sigh.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    We don’t deserve to be down as we have been the better team.

  57. fatgingergooner says:


  58. Sue says:

    2-0…. bye bye top 4

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmm. Bottlers …?

  60. Aaron says:

    Turning backs to shot sums it up!

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    Absolute disgrace

  62. Aaron says:

    Over and out..

  63. Sue says:

    Omg how many more are we going to concede??? Absolute crap… not happy to say the least! Probably be about 6-0 at this rate 😡

  64. Aaron says:

    Over and out.

  65. LBG says:

    Decent team!!!!

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    Some of these don’t deserve to be starting the EL games. Absolute joke.

  67. Sue says:

    6 conceded in 2 games!! Still time for more!! Mustafi isn’t even playing!! What on earth is wrong with our team??? Smh….

  68. Big Raddy says:

    For 25 minutes we bossed the game. Concede a stupid goal and the heads went completely. Not just the lack of football nous but also the unnecessary bookings. Emery has problems

    MU / MC for me..

  69. So we are putting all our eggs in the Europa League basket then?

    Evening all, still busy, glad this one isn’t being televised!

  70. John Mathews legend says:

    BR, Danish wages are surely far better than French…..was going for quantity before quality, and seem to have got the quantity wrong!

  71. fatgingergooner says:

    Think we are missing Mustafi.

  72. Big Raddy says:

    John. That last 15 minutes was worthy of a bucket of Rum.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    FGG 😀 😀

  74. LB says:

    Well someone spoke too soon about the team……………

  75. Sue says:

    Well if ever you’re going through a dodgy patch, just hope that Arsenal are your next fixture, you’ll get a 4-0 win (at least) & a big confidence boost…. I’m so gutted 😔
    Let’s be honest though, if we had have made it into the CL, with this bunch we’d surely have just made the numbers up & it’d be back to the 5-1’s against Bayern & whoever else we came up against…

  76. LB says:

    This might sound odd but the kind of team and the kind of football that Wolves are playing is the kind of team and the kind of football I hope to see from Emery in the not too distant future.

  77. John Mathews legend says:

    BR, I wish I had a bucket of rum….

  78. LB says:

    Ahhh, an old AW tactic, when all is lost get something out of it by way of giving a youngster some pitch time.

  79. Sue says:

    Leroy Sane 😊

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    Oh dear. The inconsistency of Arsenal over the last few years is enough to make you pull your eyes out. We are so hot and cold and have players who are equally frustrating. Not good enough and put away form has killed our PL season.

  81. LBG says:

    So, five or six windows!!

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    You have a point Sue. At least in the EL we have a chance to win it. The last few years we were in the CL were pointless and also killed our PL form when we were inevitably dumped out in February.

  83. Sue says:

    Arsenal really know how to dampen your mood.. I should be used to it by now! I tried to get tickets earlier for the Valencia game – to no avail, maybe it was a blessing in disguise.. not sure I could handle witnessing another loss!
    On a plus for me – City won!! Came through a tough week with 2 wins! How good is Bernardo Silva? Another De Gea error 😀 yes I know I’m in no position to rip it out of anyone else.. but hey it is United 😀

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    I thought we had a good chance with this team tonight, but it wasn’t to be. I don’t know what to say other than quote Winston Churchill: If your going through hell, keep going. Next up The Foxes and who knows what will happen there.

  85. GoonerB says:

    Well jeeezuz. What the hell are we supposed to make of an Arsenal that has played the better teams brilliantly at times this season and looked like a relegation team against lesser opposition?

    I would love to know the feelings of someone who saw the whole game.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    To put this in perspective – I’m 81 years old and I’ve supported the team for over 72 years, watched over 3, 000 games and today was the very first time I’ve turned a game off and switched to watch another game – Man U v Man C.

    I’m totally flabbergasted that such high paid “athletes” can produce so little of substance. What the hell do you achieve by having the majority of possession in your own half – back passing is driving me insane.

    Back in the day I would stand under the clock in my short trousers in the rain and cold watching our team play their hearts out in wretched conditions. They were paid the minimum wage and gave everything they had (which was seldom good enough) but I watched every minute of every game, because they gave their all.

    Today I wonder why I even bother……………….

  87. fatgingergooner says:

    Graeme Souness and Roy Keane are like broken records. All they ever talk about is ‘leaders’. If a team is in a bad patch it’s because they don’t have enough ‘leaders’. What nonsense. Football is very technical and very tactical these days but they just seem to think that running a lot, tackling hard and shouting will win you games. It helps, but it’s not the answer to eveeything!

  88. Sue says:

    Jamie Vardy & James Maddison will be licking their lips!

  89. Sue says:

    Your comment says it all GN5

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    Look forward to watching Tielemans. I wonder if he’d be a reasonable replacement for Ramsey.

  91. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m starting to wonder just how awful Napoli must be. Zero goals in 180 minutes against us!

  92. LB says:

    You’re on form tonight Slim, that is funny about Napoli

  93. LB says:

    That picture up there of Wagner with his thumb up, all that is missing is a little wave.

  94. fred1266 says:

    I know the feeling G5

  95. chas says:

    I really couldn’t waste my time attempting to write up that game.

    I’ve put something brief up so that there’s a post to add comments to but if anyone wants to write something else, please do.


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