Arsenal v Palace. 3pm KO. It matters.

January 20, 2018

First up, a word on the opposition, Crystal Palace.

Here is another club I don’t think should even exist. So someone knocks up a glass shed in Hyde Park to show off some knick-knacks from around the world, then moves it South London when everyone’s seen enough, and somehow, this becomes good enough reason to name a football club after it. Ok, whatever, I guess.

Having said all that, there are a few notable highlights in their history. One, the development of Ian Wright as a superstar of world football, and the other being their famous triumph during the 1913-14 season, when they won the London Challenge Cup by beating Tottenham Hotspurs 2-1 at Highbury.

Now, down to business. Does today’s fixture even matter?

Yes it bloody well does because we WILL all be watching, so quite apart from anything else, we might as well score a hat full and enjoy ourselves.

I have no idea how Palace play,  but that wouldn’t alter the way Arsenal line up anyway. Also no idea who’s fit or what’s going on regarding transfers. I’ll hazard a guess and say that Sanchez won’t start, and despite whatever it is you think about the slippery dog fancier, we will be short on goalscorers. Because you lot appear to like that line up thing, here’s a stab at it:

Laca

Iwobi Mesut

M-N Jack Granit Bell

Kos Must Cham

Cech

Options: Danny, Rambo, Beast, Nelson

 

Hope we score four. Enjoy your day if going. Up The Gunners.

Written by MickyDidIt89

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A Festive Season Treat or Too Much Mead Hangover?

December 28, 2017

Last season we got hammered by Palace at Selhurst Park by a CP team in trouble. Today  we go there in questionable form and Palace are once again in trouble. Recipe for an embarrassing defeat? Let’s hope not.

Any club that employs Roy Hodgson has my respect, he seems like a top bloke and it takes courage to employ a manager committed to football to take a team out of the relegation zone. Most clubs go for the Hoofball merchants like Moyes, Allardyce etc. I hope they stay up and go on an extended run of good form in the New Year.

Palace spent big money and have some excellent players, players whom the press were linking Arsenal with  – Zaha, Townshend, Benteke and Cabaye. Defence is their problem and one we must exploit.

It is time Sanchez returned to the form we know and love. I do not believe it is lack of desire which is his problem, probably the opposite.

Monreal may be crocked, so is Ramsey. and OG.

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi      Koscielny     Kolasinac

Bellerin    Xhaka   Wilshere    Maitland- Niles

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

Perhaps Iwobi will get a start in place of M-N or Holding could replace Monreal. Who knows except Mr Wenger?

Our form has been strange, consistency conspicuously lacking. One week we are very good in defeat and the next poor in victory.

We need a win and an improvement upon our terrible away form….

Let it start this afternoon.

COYRRG

 


Goodfellas. Player Ratings

November 27, 2017

Arsenal passed their first test against serious opposition in recent weeks with flying colours. A game of two halves with Burnley having the better of the first; Sean Dyche has got his team playing well with committed, crisp interplay play that took all of Arsenal’s concentration to go into the break still on equal terms.

As much as the first half belonged to Burnley the second belonged to Arsenal; if this was Wenger’s game plan then I salute him because it worked; the cherry on the hard fought northern cake being Sanchez’ well taken penalty in the dying seconds.

Burney supporters would probably argue that it could have gone either way and possibly it could have; so much so, that I had the alternative headline written in my head ‘Nothing good ever comes of going to Burnley’ but this was unnecessary as Sanchez slotted home with aplomb to snatch all three points and take us up to forth in the table. Power shift? Pah.

Cech: Cool hand Luke. 9

Koscielny: The French Connection. 8

Mustafi: Das Boot. 8

Monreal: No Pasaran. 6

Bellerin. Bullet 7

Kosinac: Raging Bull. 7

Ramsey: Tiger Bay. 6

Xhaka: The Sound of Music. 7

Iwobi: Forrest Gump. 5

Lacazette: Breathless. 8

Sanchez: The Great Escape. 8


Spud Bashing – Player Ratings

November 18, 2017

Team up for it, crowd up for it, great day in the Red and White side of North London. Grown men singing Sweet Caroline at the tops of their voices as they left the ground – Good times never seemed so good – and Neil Diamond was not wrong.

Cech: his maturity counts for a lot, solid as ever and a great save at the end to keep an impressive clean sheet. 8

Bellerin: excellent going forward, always there to offer an outlet on the wing, some decent defending and some down right worrying defending towards the end. 7

Mustafi: there was a reason why the defense worked today rather than not on other occasions and that was because of the return of Shkodran. A general in his organisation and a tower of strength to the other defenders around him and if that isn’t praise enough he set us on our way to the fine weekend that we are having now with a brilliantly headed goal, my motm: 10

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Koscielny: seemed to be inspired and lifted by his fellow CB, some superb defending and some down right poor passing in the first half. Maybe this is harsh as the noticeable thing was that he was the only player who was looking for the Lacazette runs, I noticed in the week that the French national team understand our number 9’s runs and know how to find him, they are still working this out at THOF. 7

Monreal: a very calm, sensible performance nothing fancy nothing silly just went about his job in his professional way. 7

Kolasinac: the honey moon period is over now and there is a touch of the Emperor’s new clothes going on here, don’t get me wrong I am as pleased as punch with the Oxlaide-Chamberlain upgrade but I am still struggling to see exactly what he brings to the table and is what he brings enough? That said if you play in a team that beats spuds 2-0 you will always be worthy of praise and so should his compact, no frills performance today. 7

Ramsey: probably the player that raised his game the least today and as for playing in trainers for most of it, sliding all over the place and loosing possession cheaply, that was not good; he finally changed his boots and got a bit more to grips with things. 7

Xhaka: this player always worries me as it always only seems like a matter of time until he gets sent off — but he didn’t today, I am not known to be the biggest Wilshere fan but I would have Jack in that team ahead of him everyday of the week. Granit sprayed the ball around well and clearly has a lot of self belief which is a useful asset. 7

Ozil: here’s a question, were you a Bergkamp fan or an Henry fan? If you were like me a Berkamp fan and are of a certain age then there is a linage that you have followed: you loved Liam Brady, you secretly admired Paul Davis more than Rocastle, you liked Merson, you thought and think that Bergkamp was and is the greatest player you have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt and you were a great admirer of Pires and yes you still have a soft spot for Fabrigas. Why all this? Because they are all a similar type of player and can be traced through the decades; the more skillful type rather than the pure goal scorer and as such, you, like me, love Ozil more than any other player at the club. We’ve got Ozil, Mesut Ozil, I just don’t think you understand. 9

Lacazette: he is getting close isn’t he, you can sense that there is so much more from him to come but it is coming isn’t it. Interesting that Wenger remains cautious wit him, only ever playing him for 70 minutes. I suspect Wenger knows the levels of fatigue that the Christmas calendar has on players and wants to make sure he is still standing in the new year. Good day today. 9

Sanchez: another brilliant performance, committed as ever and Johnny on the spot again to fire home our second. 9

Match thoughts from a jubilant LB


1-0 Down, 3-1 Up.  MOTM: Arsene Wenger.

September 15, 2017

Here are some brief “feelings” on the back of last night’s game, pulled together from my own thoughts as well as picking through the excellent comments on here from genuine experts.

  1. Back three/four. I think it’s wrong to judge a system by the personnel. Throw Koscielny and Mustafi into yesterday’s starting XI and I’m sure things would have looked different.
  2. However, perhaps we looked better second half BECAUSE of the switch. Thoughts?
  3. I’ve stated my concerns over our midfield pairing of Xhaka and Ramsey. Chief amongst my concerns is the lack of back-up, and now heavily underlined by the injury to Coquelin. Has anything from last night changed the thinking here? I always have liked Elneny’s quiet, unfussy, business like approach to the game. I thought he was excellent.
  4. Maitland-Niles moved more central, and we also saw the welcome return of Jack. I reckon we saw enough to think we have real quality in depth waiting in the wings.
  5. Sanchez, oh Sanchez. How would he react to the boos on Saturday and even having to start last night? My answer, he plays against Chelsea.
  6. Alex Iwobi. Love the guy, but I think his role lies further up field as back-up to Mesut, rather than in the deeper Ramsey role.
  7. Arsene Wenger played a superb 15 minutes at the break. A rare half time substitution, a change in formation, together with a considerably upped tempo from the boys from the first minute of the second period means he gets my MOTM.

Thoroughly enjoyable game. We saw many exciting things. Bring on Chelsea. Cannot wait.

MickyDidIt89


The Mesut/Alexis Conundrum

September 13, 2017

Question of the day from GoonerB

What do people feel we should do with Sanchez and Ozil? Options could include:

  1. Play them as 1st 11 choices all season and let them leave on a free in May.
  2. Show them the contract now and say sign or you go to the reserves, and we invest the playing time in our future players rather than you.
  3. Play them till January then look for the best deals we can get. If so should we look for player swap deals (but with which clubs?) or straight cash (but with which clubs?).

Liverpool Preview

August 27, 2017

Yet again we go to Anfield as the underdogs , a strange circumstance as for so many years they were also rans. FairPlay to the LFC BoD for investing hundreds of millions into the playing staff and then signing such an in demand manager.

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It has to be said that most of the hundreds of millions have been wasted but if I were a Scouse, I wouldn’t give a monkeys as Liverpool have also signed a few gems; Mane, Coutinho, Firmino, Can, Lallana and Wijnaldum are all fine players. Sturridge, despite being a bit of a girl, is hugely talented and Salah is quality. They specialise in counter-attack and our defence will be tested.

Defensively they can be shaky but Klopp adheres to the Micky philosophy of football –  score more than the opposition.

Arsenal will be seething after losing a very winnable game last weekend; a stupid defensive error and a lack of composure in front of goal lost us 3 valuable points. Especially as the following two games are away to two Top 4 clubs.

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However, we have some fine men returning to the first team – Koscielny  and Sanchez are probably our two best players. We have missed them

The Mustafi business is odd and if he is really going to Italy then it would be a surprise to see him play today. I hope he stays but if we are to sign a better defender then Bye Bye Shkodran.

Team selection is not easy to predict, will AW stay with the Back 3 or play a little more safe and include more defensive wing-backs. I think he will

My Team;

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Xhaka     Ramsey    Kolisinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

This is a tasty team. No Ox, no Theo, no Iwobi or OG, nor a Welbz, but when playing away from home against a team that knocked 7 passed us (in 2 games) it is balanced. We have a superb bench

Of course there is the YNWA factor but if we can keep them at bay for an hour Anfield can become as much a Library as the Emirates.

I have to be honest and say I would be delighted with a point,

COYRRG