Well I thought the ref got the France pen decision correct the first time. Bloody VAR defeating the Aussies.
What’s in store today? Looks dull to me, so it should be blinding.
Costa Rica v Serbia 1pm
Germany v Mexico 4pm
Brazil v Switzerland 7pm
After yesterday’s glorious thrust and counter thrust of the Iberian derby, what delights will 4 game Saturday hold for us on day 3 of the 2018 World Cup?
Saturday June 16
France v Australia Group C
Kazan 11am (UK) BBC
Argentina v Iceland Group D
Moscow 2pm (UK) ITV
Main (Seal Flipper Pie)
Peru v Denmark Group C
Saransk 5pm (UK) BBC
Croatia v Nigeria (D)
Kaliningrad 8pm (UK) ITV
The 2018 World Cup in Russia is now upon us with the first game between Russia and Saudi Arabia kicking off at 6:00am on Thursday June 18th. With so many games to watch I created my own WC timetable for the group games.
Here is a copy.
My personal level of excitement is very low but I love watching football and given that in Canada and the -5 hour time difference with the UK it will make it a little easier to watch.
The group games are usually the dullest with so many having next to zero chance of advancing to the knock out games.
England should advance with little trouble but as yet I have not bothered to see who in the final 16 teams they will potentially face.
Written by GunnerN5
You know the expression: “aim for the stars, and see what happens”.
Well, in terms of style, and more importantly goal difference, it’s only City that dwell in the heavenly kingdom above. They represent the lofty ambitions of all other sides in England. We know that some other side in Manchester will attempt to overthrow their neighbours by adopting a more pragmatic approach, however The Arsenal has been trained in a better school than that.
I know, we don’t have their deep pockets, but let’s get over that particular triviality and set out our stall to emulate the footballing ethos of attack, a lot, and score, a lot (their GD was 79, to the closest of Liverpool on 46!!!).
I just googled their formation and discovered that their cunning manager appears to deploy more than one pattern, and there have I been, cleverly or so I thought, building my Arsenal around a Mesut Ozil.
Interestingly, that De Bruyne fellow appears both central and wider depending on game, and I also noticed how in their line up against Barca, they went for a 4-1-4-1 set up, whereas against lesser mortals in the league we often saw a 4-2-1-3 (4-2-3-1) deal. In amongst that 2 in the defensive midfield area, that clever Pep fella also used two systems there as well. Either the doubled up tough guys, or the one toughster and one more up and down.
In short, I’m now beginning to think there may be something in this tactical bollocks thing after all.
We have signed a man at the end of his career and one whose career has yet to start. Welcome both the Swiss fellow and the French chap.
We need to trim the squad. Starting with midfield, who gets sold?
One or more of Wilshire, Ramsey, Iwobi or Xhaka.
Xhaka? Towards the end of the season Xhaka showed he is becoming accustomed to the PL. He is a vital part of the team, a player who controls the pace of the midfield. He no longer gets red cards for stupid tackles but is more considered in his work. Definitely a keeper and next season could be a when we see his true quality. A big WC and his value will rocket. We need him to stay until M-N flowers.
Wilshire? His reluctance to sign his contract is worrying but should we keep him even if he is willing to sign? Jack is a proper Gooner who has been at the club since childhood, it would be sad if he moved on but his play is simply not good enough to get us to a Top 4 place. I ask this question … would JW get into any of the 5 teams above us? The answer is No. So, he has to go.
Ramsey? You know he is one of my favourite players but does he fit into the current squad? Not really. He is a wonderful player with all the attributes for a dynamic midfielder but he just doesn’t fit with Ozil and, for me, the team has to work around Mesut as it did around DB10. If Aaron hasn’t signed a contract extension by mid-July then he has to go. We should sell him whilst he still has a value. If he signs, and it is a big IF, will he be happy playing a bit-part? I doubt it.. If he goes, we will be losing a man who has scored two winning FAC goals. It would be a sad but necessary loss.
Iwobi? Has tremendous potential but can he achieve it? Can he do so at AFC where he will not, for the time being, be a first choice player? Lack of true pace is his problem because he has all the other skills needed to be a fine attacking MF. Another who could have a big WC. We have to keep him.
Would it be to the detriment of the squad if both JW and AR left? Of course it would – they are both International quality players but Arsenal are no longer a Wenger team and perhaps these men are part of our past, not our future.
I could be wrong but I very much doubt both will be at Arsenal come August.
written by Big Raddy
They are the only team to go unbeaten for a complete season since Preston North End went unbeaten in the inaugural season of the Football League in 1889 with a record of P22, W18, D4, L0, GF74, GA15, Pts58.
In retaining the Premier League Championship in 2001/02, Arsenal had earlier equalled Preston North End’s record of going unbeaten away for the entire season by beating Manchester United 0-1 at Old Trafford in our final away game. Perhaps it was this outstanding achievement which prompted Arsene Wenger’s outrageous prediction in September 2002 that his side could go a whole season unbeaten – the journos and footballing establishment mocked such a claim.
Arsene only used 22 players in the whole season with Jens Lehmann playing in all 38 games – which included 15 shut outs.
Although he performed well throughout the 2002/03 season, long-serving keeper David Seaman was released at the end of the campaign. Arsenal brought in Jens Lehmann from Borussia Dortmund for a mere £1.5 million – a steal, considering just how important he would be for Arsenal over the next 12 months. Due to building the Emirates there were no big-name signings; club captain Patrick Vieira signed a new contract in the face of strong interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. With Arsene not make any big changes to the squad, and with no major departures, Arsenal started the season with the same group of players as the previous season.
The season kicked off with Arsenal in inspired form. A 2-1 home victory over Everton on the opening day was followed up with 4-0 win over Middlesbrough, a 2-0 win over Aston Villa and a 2-1 away victory over David Seaman and Manchester City. With just four games played, Arsenal had already put three points between them and fellow title-chasers Manchester United, leaving them sitting comfortably in first place, having scored ten and conceded just two.
Our unbeaten run came close to ending at Old Trafford in the sixth game of the season when United were awarded a penalty in injury time (no surprise there) but (our least liked player) Ruud van Nistelrooy stepped up and missed the penalty and the match ended tied at 0–0. Tempers boiled over in the game dubbed the ‘Battle of Old Trafford’ following Vieira being given a red card.
October presented a tough schedule with a trip to Anfield and a home game against Chelsea. Despite falling behind against Liverpool we recovered to win 2-1. Going into the Chelsea game, both sides were level at the top of the table and were also undefeated in the league. The game appeared to be heading for a draw until a Carlo Cudicini blunder saw Thierry Henry give Arsenal the win, bringing an end to Chelsea’s unbeaten run. Despite the fact we had still not lost a poor 0-0 draw against Fulham on Nov 30th gave Chelsea the chance to take over at the top of the table.
At the turn of the year Arsenal had made it half way through the season without tasting defeat in the Premier League and the unbeaten season began to take place: but despite this feat, Arsenal entered 2004 in second place, one point behind leaders Manchester United.
The Gunners’ first game of the year once again ended with a lacklustre draw against Everton, while United secured a victory to increase their lead to three points. Although, things picked up with a dominant 4-1 win over Middlesbrough, which saw us draw level with United on points, goal difference and goals scored. Henry then began a goal scoring run which would see him net in each of the club’s next six games, the second and third of which came against Aston Villa a week later giving Arsenal all three points. Despite a trip to title chasers Chelsea and a visit to Manchester City, February would prove to be one of the best months in the campaign, with five wins in five games.
After 30 games Arsenal had officially beaten the Premier League record of consecutive game without defeat.
The 31st game saw perhaps the game of the season with Thierry Henry scoring a blistering hat trick to beat Liverpool after being 2-1 down at halftime.
On April 25th we went to White Hart Lane knowing knew that a single point would be enough to end any chance of a late Chelsea comeback. Goals from Vieira and Pirés were enough to secure a 2-2 draw that handed Arsenal the trophy at the home of the North London pretenders with four games to spare.
We saw out the final month of Premier League action comfortably, with a bore draw against Birmingham City followed up with a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth and a 1-0 victory over Fulham. Despite going behind in their final game against Leicester City, Arsenal bossed the second-half, claiming victory thanks to goals from Henry and Vieira.
After Arsenal completed the only 38-match season unbeaten, the Premier League commissioned a unique gold trophy to commemorate the achievement. Arsène Wenger was presented the trophy as a parting gift from the club after his last home game as manager on 6 May 2018.
Written by GunnerN5