Another Victory.

May 17, 2017

Are we going to talk football? Why not?

Strange game last night. First half a meandering dull affair enlivened only by speculation as to why the Emirates was a quarter empty.

Ozil playing beautifully but Giroud the opposite. Sanchez scoring two but losing the ball way too often. Gibbs having his best game for a few seasons.

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Referee, once again, crap. Two clear penalties declined, too many yellows for AFC whilst that thug, Cattermole escapes having crunched Ozil, Ramsey and Sanchez.

Ramsey. Finally finding some form following a run of games without injury. Sadly, it looked season ending damage for the Welsh Wizard. Hope not.

Defence. Another clean sheet but Cech exposed way too often, if Sunderland were not so poor in attack, we could have been in trouble. We miss Koscielny as Monreal is too concentrated upon attack. Mustafi improving as the season progresses and will be very good next season. Loved the no-look Monreal back pass to Cech, top entertainment.

Cech showed why he still has a few more years at the top. Faultless. I love his urgent distribution to get the team on the front foot.

We looked so much better with Welbeck and Iwobi on the pitch. More pace, more incisive, more problems for a tiring S’land defence.

Holding. Who didn’t love his run upfield? The man looks a future star and a huge bargain. Who said AFC can no longer scout talent from the lower leagues?

All in all, we played OK with some sublime work from Ozil and Xhaka. The headlines go to Sanchez but goals apart ( 😀 ) I thought he had a poor game. My MotM was definitely Ozil.

We had to win to keep our run going and put pressure on L’pool, we did. Just need to win the next two games and the season will look much better than a couple of months ago.

written by Big Raddy


Down to the Wire.

May 16, 2017

The Hammers cowardly capitulation at the hands of Liverpool has put a slight dampener on tonight’s challenge, but as Micky rightly points out, the Fat Lady has yet to sing.

I have never experienced the depression of relegation with Arsenal, neither have you. We have no idea what it must be like to feel like Sunderland fans and probably never will, for that we must be thankful. We must also be thankful that we do not live in Sunderland 🙂

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We are on a fine run of wins, starting to play with a degree of confidence and have an almost fully-fit squad. A win tonight should be possible.

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Holding

Ox   Ramsey    Xhaka    Monreal

Ozil    Sanchez

Welbeck

In my opinion, this is our strongest team when playing at home (perhaps Santi for Ramsey) . It will be fascinating to see how AW (if he stays) will fit Iwobi and the new signings into this team.

Should we win our last two games we will finish with 75 points, loads more than we finished with last season yet be lower in the table. What does this signify? Much to discuss through the summer .

Can we win and win well? Of course we can.

Let it be So

COYRRG


ARSENAL STOKE AWAY TODAY

May 13, 2017

I’ll be brief. It is a “Must Try Today Game”.

Two reasons. The CL is a better tournament than The Europa, and also, we must remain focused and battle hardened going into The Cup Final.

courtesy of Futurecaster

I cannot tell you anything about Stoke you don’t already know. They have nothing to play for, but it is their last home game of the season so they may want to do it for the fans. We’ll see.

As we reach the final few games of the season, I can see a few interesting developments beyond the obvious success of the new formation.

First seasons in the Premiership can be tough for new boys, but it does appear that Granit, Mustafi and Holding are beginning to really look the business, and I don’t believe that is down simply to the three at the back set up.

Can’t be sure about The Ox or Kos fitness, but I suspect both will start. I do hope Monreal gets shunted back further up field and Kos, Mustafi and Holding play together for the remainder of the season.

………..Cech

…Mustafi Kos Holding

Ox  Ramsey  Xhaka  Monreal

…..Mesut  Sanchez

…………Danny

Let’s go thrash them, boost the goals for column and see where we are.

Come on you Gunnners.

MickyDidIt89


Southampton. Player Ratings

May 11, 2017

Cech. Terrific, even his distribution was good. Saved a couple of one on ones and made a spectacular flying save from Redmond.   9

Holding. Early to make this huge statement but this man has a touch of the Tony Adams – he could be that good. Calm, clever, determined and strong. 8

Mustafi. A welcome return and he seems very comfortable as the fulcrum of the back 3. A couple of times he was out of position which allowed S’ton to get behind the defence.  7

Monreal. I think he is a better attacker than Gibbs but also a better defender and he was very solid last night.   7

Ox. Made an energetic start but often his final ball was inaccurate. Made one lovely cross before injury.  6

Ramsey. Massive energy and ambition but as usual much of his work comes to nothing. Clever headed cross for Giroud. 7

Xhaka. He is becoming the metronome of the team. This is both good and bad as sometimes he delays his passes or goes sideways but I have high hopes for his future at AFC. Tried a couple of long-distance shots which was positive. No yellow card – again!!  7

Gibbs. Settling into his role but (and I know I keep saying this) he is not good enough in the opposition half. His crossing is not accurate, he is not on a wavelength with Sanchez. That said, he played well   6.

Ozil.  As always he worked hard. Made a lovely pass for Sanchez goal.  Love the bloke.   7

Welbeck. Plenty of runs but had poor service. I cannot recall him forcing a save from Forster.  6

Sanchez. Brilliant but oh so frustrating. Every game I despair as he gives away ball after ball then he pops up with another outstanding, match-winning goal   8

Subs

Bellerin. Doesn’t seem comfortable with the 3 at the back  system. Feels as though he needs the summer to re-group and come back fitter and faster.   5

Giroud.  Just on the pitch for a few minutes and scored to once again hit double figures for the season.   7

Mr. Wenger. Another clean sheet indicates that the Back 3 experiment is working. We have conceded just 3 goals in 5 games. Substitutions were as expected.  7

My MotM. Cech.  An outstanding performance

A competitive first half with Southampton dominating the opening 15 minutes, from then on Ramsey and Xhaka controlled the game and I was always confident we would win.

written by Big Raddy

 


Southampton: MWG?

May 10, 2017

Just in case anyone is getting ahead of themselves and thinking this will be an easy win, may I point out that we have not won at St Mary’s in our last 5 visits plus we have lost 5 of our last 6 away matches. We need a win because if we draw or, heaven forbid, lose, the rest of the season is just filling in time until the Cup Final.

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Beating both Manchester clubs must give some confidence to our troops and given Liverpool’s odd form there are genuine chances for a top 4 finish (though Stoke will be difficult).

Southampton are a strange team, sometimes they play attacking positive football, at others they are just dour, evidenced by just 39 goals for (44 conceded). In a season which has seen the EPL split into two divisions S’to are just 4 places below us in 10th yet 21 points behind.

Tonight’s referee is John Moss and just to show that I never bear grudges may I ask you to recall the action below. Moss was refereeing that day and did not even give a free kick! IMO it was one of the most dangerous, deliberate fouls I have seen. Moss is known for “letting play flow”, I call it bottling major decisions. He was also the referee when we played Burnley at home earlier this season and Barton got away with grabbing Iwobi’s face.

I do not expect much change from Sunday’s team – Koscielny may be injured and being so important is likely to be rested. Hence …

My Team

Cech

Holding    Mustafi   Monreal

Ox   Ramsey   Xhaka   Gibbs

Ozil     Sanchez

Welbeck

Once again, I would prefer to play someone other than Gibbs though he did play well in the second half on Sunday. Gabriel may return in place of Holding.

Southampton were super dull against Liverpool and I can see no reason why they shouldn’t be so tonight. Puel’s job is apparently under threat, though what do S’ton’s BoD expect? Puel has done OK with limited resources. What he does have is a very good defence which is why we have to score in the first half to make an entertaining game otherwise we are in for another night of tension, possession, dilly-dallying and reluctance to shoot.

Bang one in early and we could be kushtie

Let it be So

COYRRG


George Best? Merinho wouldn’t have picked him

May 7, 2017

For so many years this was my favourite fixture of the year; Best and Charlton coming to Highbury, hating Sheringham, Cantona getting sent off , Van Nistleroy and Keown, TH14’s wonder goal at the Clock End, PV4’s penalty in Cardiff, Pizzagate and much much more.

Post- Merinho –it has lost it’s glamour. Completely. United are just an expensive Stoke.

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Words cannot describe how much I dislike the little Portuguese misery. To see a Man Utd team thrilled by a 0-0 draw at Maine Rd summed up the changes he has made up at OT; thank goodness the man will never come to the Emirates.

Enough of him, he gets enough press. What of his team? Packed with very, very expensive players.  Homegrowns? Rashford will get a game but only due to injuries, Lingard? Bit part player because he can be entertaining.I could go on. How can one take a wonderful prospect like Luke Shaw and destroy him? Answer …. ask Juan Mata.

Rooney? Must love his manager. England Captain and can’t get a game.  Certain to leave in summer. If he would come to AFC, I would sign him. Terrific player and one who could do a fine job for a couple of seasons.

George Best was a hero at MU, yet can you imagine Jose playing him? Look what the man did to the brilliant Eden Hazard and he works twice as hard as George. Bobby Charlton? No way – couldn’t tackle. Cantona? You’re joking.

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Proper Football

So, this afternoon we will get the usual Merinho PTB dull, dull football. Unfortunately Arsenal are not in the right shape for us to be confident of taking advantage of MU’s player rotation and injury problems.

Let’s be honest, the Spurs game was awful. Play like that for a season and we are relegation fodder. But be positive, after all Mr. Wenger must be desperate to finally beat a Jose´team. We are at home, we have few injuries and are rested after a week off. It can be done.

My Team:

Cech

Gabriel     Koscielny     Holding

Ox    Ramsey    Xhaka  Monreal

Welbeck    Sanchez   Ozil

No chance of the above but I believe this team could win. I would like to see Iwobi get some pitch time as he has been terrific this season and could use the fillip of a few minutes in another big game. Maybe Elneny instead of Ramsey, and Mustafi instead of Holding.

Please Arsenal, please Mr Wenger, please fans at the ground, do everything possible to beat MU. This United is a shadow of the great club of the past, they need to be thrashed.

Let it be so

COYRRG


Who goes? Who stays?

May 3, 2017

Which players shall be sent away and why?

Cech – Ospina – Martinez – Szecesny

Bellerin – Chambers – Jenkinson – Debuchy
Monreal – Gibbs
Kos – Mustafi – BFG – Holding – Gabriel

Xhaka – Coqueiln – El Neny
Ramsey – Wilshere – Cazorla

Ox – Walcott –
Iwobi – Ozil – Campbell
Sanchez – Jeff

Giroud – Wellbeck – Lucas – Akpom – Asano – Sanogo

Here is my start:

Cech – Mustafi, Koscielny, RECRUIT – Bellerin, RECRUIT, Xhaka, Ramsey, RECRUIT – Sanchez, RECRUIT

Recruits as starters:
DC = Ideally Bonucci but can live with Pepe or Varane
LB = Ideally Mendy but can live with Rodriguez or Gaya
CM = Ideally Vidal but can live with Sygurdsson
FW = Ideally Lukaku but can live with Vardy

Must leave:
Scezcesny
Debuchy, BFG, Gabriel, Monreal, Gibbs
Coquelin, Ozil, Campbell, Lucas, Asano, Sanogo

Loan out:
Jenkinson or Chambers, Akpom

Your team (without players on loan) shall consist of 27 players MAX and at least 23 players.

written by RC78 (cobbled from a couple of comments)