Academy of Football. Moyes?

December 13, 2017

The Hammers. Blowing bubbles. The Academy. Bobby, Geoff and Martin. Trevor’s header at Wembley.

All a long time ago. Nothing remains of that West Ham. Now they are just another industrious, unimaginative team. Allardyce and Moyes. Pragmatism. Andy Carroll.

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This doesn’t mean they cannot beat us, as they showed at the weekend such tactics can work. Any team under the harsh stare of Hawkeye Moyes will be difficult to beat especially if the opposition is not capable of winning a physical battle.

WHU have a player in their midst whom I detest. as does Debuchy – Arnautovic, who was the miscreant whose cowardly attack put Debuchy onto the treatment bench for months. Unfortunately this miscreant has talent and will be a threat to our defence.

They also have a fine GK in Adrian, and it is a mystery why WHU bought Hart. I expect him to be busy tonight.

Thinking of which, will BFG get another game? He was poor at S’ton, though not deserving of the insults from Goonerdom. Have they forgotten that this is our  Club Captain, a proper Arsenal man and a likely future manager? Or that BFG, only 6 months ago, led his team to the FAC victory? I detest the short-termism of some of our fans.

My Team

Cech

Holding    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Wilshire    Xhaka     Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

I have picked Wilshire but, given this is away fixture, would not be surprised to see wither Coquelin or Elneny with Xhaka pushed further forward into his natural position.

Our away form has been awful, it needs to change. We have to beat teams in the lower half of the table in order to maintain our challenge. A win a home and a draw is no longer good enough.

We have the players, we have the depth of squad, there can be no excuses. That said, away at WHU is always a difficult game, should be an interesting night

COYRRG

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A Lunchtime Appointment.

December 10, 2017

I used to like Southampton, mainly because of their kit but also because of Alan Ball, Le Tiss and Mick Channon. The kit has stayed almost the same, the club hasn’t; in recent years they have become a feeder club – think Bale, Walcott, Ox and Shaw ++.

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Today will be a tight game, Southampton’s defence is very strong, having conceded just one goal in 5 games. Forster, the GK is particularly good. Upfront they have had problems but the return of Charlie Austin has given them confidence. Austin is just the sort of player our defenders hate, physical, direct and a bully. This is where we miss a physical presence of Gabriel as our boys are a little too genteel, if he were available I would spend a bucket of money on Van Dijk who is a terrific defender..

In order to get a result S’ton will have to be aggressive in the tackle, something AFC must be well used to. Better technique, pace of pass and creativity are our three main weapons (M. Python), we must use them.

I expect BFG to start in place of Mustafi as both Chambers and Holding played midweek.

My team:

Cech

Koscielny    BFG    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

As always, we have a plethora of quality on the bench with Theo and Jack excelling midweek.

12 goals in a weeek, two victories and one very positive loss means we must have a team full of confidence.

There are 6 very, very good teams at the top of the PL, probably the best 6 teams in memory. In other times any one of them would have walked the title. If we want top 4 this is the type of game we have to get points from. Stoke and Watford were painful losses, let’s keep it to just those two.

COYRRG

 


Theo off the Naughty Step?

December 7, 2017

Welcome to Bate Borisov. We beat you at your noisy home ground and tonight you will admire our magnificent, state of the art stadium which is likely to be half-full. I expect you to lose again.

We have already topped the group, can’t do any better than that, so I expect to see a weakened team with another host of youngsters.  Shame for the Belarus champions who must have been thrilled to draw AFC  and expected to see Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey etc instead they will get Eddie, Nelson and Maitland Niles, though whomever plays in the red and white they represent Arsenal and must give their best.

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Another big night for Jack Wilshire who will be given the task of orchestrating the team, can he/will he achieve his potential or will be become another multi-millionaire wasting his talents at West Ham? I wish him well.

My Team:

Ospina

Chambers   Holding   Elneny

Debuchy    Nelson    Willock   Maitland-Niles

Wilshere

Walcott   Giroud

Walcott has to regain some confidence and form, he is a very good player; he can have a future at AFC IF he finds consistent form. Let us not forget that he was second top scorer last season with 19. Trouble is that it is a Big If.

Apparently we have sold over 50k tickets for tonight which I find surprising.  We shall see… Hopefully, Eddie will get some minutes to liven up the crowd in the second half.

We can and should win this.

COYRRG

 


Arsenal Top Seasons – 1932-33 our 9th Best

December 5, 2017

1932-33 turned out to be the final full season that our inspirational and creative manger Herbert Chapman would manage Arsenal; he passed away from pneumonia in January 1934. He had been instrumental in many innovations at Arsenal including getting the local underground station, Gillespie Road renamed to Arsenal, and he also introduced the now famous white sleeves in a match against Liverpool in March 1933.

The West Stand was opened in December 1932

Arsenal was the outstanding team in the Football League, early on in the 1932/33 season they battled with Leeds United for the leadership of the First Division. On Boxing Day 1932 Leeds travelled to Highbury, at the time they were six points adrift of Arsenal in the League standings and they shocked the Arsenal crowd by beating Arsenal by 2-1, Charlie Keetley scored both goals in front of a huge 55,876 crowd, Joe Hulme scored the only Arsenal goal. This set the scene for the very next day, when they played the return fixture at Elland Road where the crowd of the previous day was exceeded and a new record attendance for Elland Road was set at 56,796.  For safety reasons the gates were locked causing hundreds who were locked out to climb up on nearby house roofs as well as the Peacock Public House and various vantage points along Beeston Hill in order to get a glimpse of the action. Victory would have strengthened Leeds United’s championship hopes but they were held to a goal-less draw by the star-studded Gunners after which they faded away and by the end of the season they were in eighth position, 14 points adrift of Arsenal.

Arsenal went on to take the Football League Championship and were so dominant and overwhelming that they went on to become only the second team in Football League history to complete a treble by winning the Championship again in 1933-34 and 1934-35, Huddersfield Town had been the first team to achieve the feat by winning Championships in 1923-4, 1924-25, 1925-26. The Arsenal squad included many famous names including Frank Moss; George Male, Eddie Hapgood, Frank Hill, Herbie Roberts, Bob John, Joe Hulme, David Jack, Tim Coleman, Jack Lambert, Alex James, Cliff Bastin, Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden and Ted Drake

The shock headline of the season was —

The Greatest FA Cup Shock In History: Arsenal Lose At Walsall On This Day, 14th January 1933

On the day Arsenal had fielded four reserve players two of whom had never played a First Division game and Arsenal ended up losing the game 2-0. One of the reserve players Tommy Black kicked a Walsall player and gave away a penalty when we were losing 1-0 the resulting goal made it 2-0. On the train back to London from the Midlands after the defeat, Herbert Chapman told Tommy Black that “he would never play for Arsenal again, as he had let our reputation down, and he need never come to the ground again, his boots would be sent round with the transfer forms”! Black was deputising on his first team debut for Eddie Hapgood he’d played 26 games for the reserves, but his Arsenal career was suddenly over.

Arsenal scored 118 goals in the season (2.8 per game) a total only exceeded by the 127 we scored in 1930-31 which included scores of 6-1 against Sunderland, 8-2 against Leicester, 9-2 against Sheffield United, 8-0 against Blackburn and on November 5th Arsenal travelled to play Wolves at Molineux Stadium and they lit up the skies by beating Wolves 7-1. Cliff Bastin scored 33 goals a record for a winger unlikely ever to be exceeded.

Written by GunnerN5


The Glamour Game

December 2, 2017

Throughout my Goonerdom there have been two fixtures which thrill – Spurs and United. There was a time when the arrival of Liverpool or City created a frisson but they are just not the same. United has always been the glamour tie of the season.

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Why?

George Best, Duncan Edwards, Bryan Robson, Cantona, Charlton, Ronaldo – the list is very long. Then there were the deeply unpleasant swine who played for them – Ince, Keane, the Nevilles, Hughes, Rooney, Sheringham ++ I have been to many hundreds of Arsenal games and in my highlight reel are many momentous moments playing United …

George Graham and Best being brilliant in a 2-2 draw at Highbury with GG scoring a superb scissor kick. Platty’s header in front of the North Bank, TH14’s brilliant turn and volley at the Clock End. Wiltord at OT. Plus plus plus.

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This afternoon will see two clubs in winning form. IMO if we beat United we will finish their tilt at the title (I know it is early). We win and we are just a point off second. Can we?

Much will depend upon our defensive concentration and rigidity. Against a forward line and midfield which cost an insane amount of money (just Lukaku & Pogba cost almost €200m!) we have to be aware. Since the return of Mustafi, we are doing much better at the back. My fear is that we will be as open as we were against Huddersfield – MU will punish those mistakes.

Upfront we will miss Laca, he is perfect to play against MU’s CB’s. I would play Snachez central and Welbeck on the left, as oppposed to Giroud playing as the target frontman.

My Team:

Cech

Koscielny    Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Sanchez    Welbeck

Does anyone know where Walcott is? Is he injured? With Holding, Chambers and BFG as back up CB’s we are good. But, what happens if Bellerin gets injured?

It should be a football festival between two very good sides but there is a Portugese Fly in the ointment, Me-rinho and his PTB tactics. Will Jose give his players permission to play open, attacking football?

I would love it if we win.

COYRRG

 


Home Run to Continue?

November 29, 2017

Huddersfield Town F.C. was where Herbert Chapman won Div 1 twice before arriving at Arsenal. We owe them but the debt should be paid by allowing them a few minutes of parity before scoring a a hatful.

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One of GN5 mates

A hatful is possible but unlikely because, as H’field showed against City, they are a very good, well-organised team. Scoring is a problem, as far as I can see, they have scored only 3 goals away from home all season and all three were in the same game! But, they have beaten Man Utd so this is unlikely to be a walkover.

Much is made of Wagner (the manager not the composer), and he does seem to be more than just Jurgen Klopp’s best friend.

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Expect PTB and loads of possession, something we witness so often at The Emirates.

My Team (the one I expect to play, not the one I would pick)

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey   Xhaka   Kolasinac

Wilshire

Lacazette    Sanchez

If it were my choice we would play 4-3-3 with Welbeck starting and resting  Kolasinac. I don’t see the need for the extra defender when playing a side who are certain to defend in depth and play on the break.

What would be your chosen team?

We need these 3 points and to continue our wonderful home form (well results rather than form). With a hige game on the weekend we need to maitain confidence and drive.

So, welcome to the Emirates Huddersfield, it is excellent when such a small club proves money is not the only driver in football. I really hope you have the opportunity to play here next season and get beaten again 😀

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