Run to Continue.

April 13, 2013

Let’s be honest. Dig deep inside and search for the the truth. You expect us to secure three points this afternoon.  Go on, Admit it.

If like me you never predict a win for fear of “boking” (Irish for curse) the team, then you will be doing all you can to pretend this is a difficult fixture against a team who have upset us in the recent past, but we all know we should beat Norwich today.


Number of Points needed this Afternoon

Let’s look at the reasons for optimism:

Norwich haven’t beaten us in London since 1992

They have never beaten us home and away

We have won 6 of our last 7PL  games

Norwich have only won one of their last 15 games

Norwich have scored just 3 goals in their last 7 away games and have taken just 2 points, nor won away in 2013

We welcome back Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott

GIE’s Parents are attending today

I could continue but, should we lose, the pain of Norwich rubbishing all this evidence would be excruciating!

So, we should be positive, and we should move in third place in the PL (let’s all laugh at Tottenham 😀 ). In my opinion, if the work ethic is in place and the team play with the verve they have shown in recent weeks, ….. Damn, I can’t write it.

Negatives. Merts is out and ermmmm …… oh yes, Diaby is injured.

Norwich have tried to play attacking football but have sadly failed. They play 4-5-1  and in Chris Hughton have a young manager who looks simply ridiculous in a suit and tie. After all, this man still retains the slime and excrescence of N17. All those years of floating in a cesspool take their toll – just look at Glenda Hoddle, Terry Vegetables and Alan Sugar. Nonetheless I will be saddened if they go down – which is a real possibility given that if they lose today they could be just one point from the drop zone.

My Team:

arse v norwich

All right – Take it Easy – Keep your hair on (not in my case), I know Rosicky has been superb and that Ramsey is a ball of energy but this is my post and my team. I believe we should put out our best 11 players,and in my opinion this is the best Arsenal team. Of course, my favourite German (after Michael Schenker) is on the bench.

The fitness of both Wilshere and Walcott will determine the starting 11. If they are only fit enough for the bench I would play Ramsey and The Ox.

As to tactics, we will play as we usually do, and for lovers of decent football I hope Norwich don’t zaparkowac´autobus. An early Arsenal goal will open up the game and of late we have started well. More of the same, please.

Today’s English explorer: Normally I focus upon expedition leaders and their derring-do, men who have taken the plaudits and the titles (assisted greatly by extensive facial hair) but today we will take a look at one of the unsung heroes, because behind every expedition are a number of brave and almost unknown back-up men, Alfred Cheetham (1867-1918) is one of them.

Born in Liverpool into a poor family, he went to sea at an early age, joining the fishing fleets of Hull. He remained a Seaman all his life (highly appropriate for an Arsenal blog!).


Hard as Nails

An early trip into the iceworld was as a member of Captain Scott’s South Pole attempt. Sadly, Scott didn’t return from the Pole and a search party was mustered but Cheetham wasn’t chosen as he was a family man, having married young and producing 13 children – these navy chaps are fertile. Cheetham’s next tour to Antarctica was with the Shackleton expedition, one of the most famous and arduous expeditions of all-time. Stuck on the ice through a Polar winter, sheltering under lifeboats as their ship had sunk, Cheetham and his crew-mates waited for the return of Shackleton.

What makes Cheetham notable is that he was on both of the most famous Polar expeditions and survived. What he didn’t survive was the First World War, his ship being torpedoed in 1918.

Win today and the pressure mounts upon our rivals. Draw and the task is harder, Lose and the bubble bursts ……… But we won’t.

written by Big Raddy

Disclaimer. If I have bokked the team and we do not win, BR takes no responsibility.



Narch. Letsbe Avingham.

October 20, 2012

Thank Dennis for that – it’s over .Two weeks of unrelenting football withdrawal. Cold turkey is over and we get our fix this afternoon.

Last time we played the Canaries it was  a roller coaster game at THOF in May; we went one up after 65 seconds, 2-1 down after 30 minutes, 3-2 up and finally allowed Norwich to equalise in the 85th minute. Some bloke scored two for us. Narch played very well but times have changed for the East Anglians, they sit just one point above the dismal QPR having a minus 12 goal difference and only 3 points from 7 games. They have yet to win at home.

History shows we have not lost at Carrow Rd since 1984, however 7 of the last 12 games have been draws.

Norwich: Let us start with their manager. People say (and this includes many Arsenal people) that Chris Hughton is a decent bloke. ……. . Decent Bloke? Which decent bloke plays 300 times for the blue-bellied sheep biters? The man is devil-spawn and guaranteed to take this lovely family club down with the Rangers.  Hughton is so average that Alan Pardew took his job! Nothing more needs saying. Don’t believe me? Check out his record since leaving Newcastle ….. Played 12  won none. And he has a carrot shaped head.

What of his team of flatlanders? Are they a bunch of decent pro’s doing the best for their families and playing honest, open football? 5 goals scored in 7 games tells a story. With just two yellow cards all season it must be said that Norwich are not a team who intimidate their opponents.

Ugly as a Dropped Pie

Who plays for the lovely historic town of Norwich? Well, there is a smattering of ex-miscreants – Bassong & Kane, England’s 3rd choice Mr Ruddy, the hideous but dangerous Grant Holt (sounds like a train station …. two returns to Grant Holt, please). Steve Morison is Holt’s forward partner, born in Enfield plays for Wales and  has a boy named Fenton . The defender Russell Martin was born in Brighton and represents Scotland.  Alan Smith says Wes Hoolahan is a player to watch – if he plays he is a second striker.

Arsenal: We are unbeaten away, scoring freely and defending well (apart from a few set play blips). 7th doesn’t reflect how well we are playing  or how the new boys are adapting to life in the PL.

We have 5 ever present players in the league. Can you guess who they are (without checking)?

The Internationals cost us 2 players, both Theo and Kos are out. Fabianski is out for a few more months. The defence picks itself.

My Team:

Once again, we have a strong bench though Coquelin is out.

Gervinho will be important this afternoon as he seeks to continue his scoring run; his pace and trickery will be of great concern to the Norwich defence. Let us hope he has not been too traumatised by the events in Senegal. I include Ramsey but if Diaby is available he would be the first choice.

Podolski has been a revelation in his attitude to hard work; he has a Mercedes Diesel engine. His ability to drop back and bolster the the left side of defence has allowed us to be very strong in midfield and it is here that we will win the game. I expect Norwich to try and flood the midfield – perhaps not zaparkowac autobus – but nonetheless defend deep. They are at home and surely have to try to entertain and take 3 points.

Further to my shock revelation that there is no way Jack Wilshere will play even a minute today, there is rumour he is in the squad. To play him would be a mistake. AW says he is only 80%, so what is the point?

Whilst you are munching through your cornflakes, let me tell you about the chap below because we like a British hero and fellow certainly fits the bill.

Sir Samuel Baker (great grandfather to Arsenal’s Joe).What this chap did in his lifetime is astonishing. He discovered  Uganda and named Lake Albert, searched for the source of the Nile, was a big game hunter, a fellow of every society known to man, explored on all the continents, was a friend of Edward v11, became Pasha of Egypt, and was a fervent anti-slavery campaigner. He would surely have been a Gooner but died too early.  All this and a fine Beardsman.

An important 3 points today (Yes – I know – they all are). We have to punish teams at the opposite end of the table , we didn’t last season and almost paid the price. There can be little question that Arsenal are the better team, there is only one Norwich player who would get in our squad, let alone our first team (Ruddy). The bookies are expecting us to win at Carrow Rd (odds 4/7)  and as they say, you never see a poor bookie.


Written by Big Raddy