Arteta’s new Arsenal v Klopp’s Liverpool – Community Shield

August 29, 2020

I’m prompted to write a few words following a fairly unpleasant contact with a so-called “supporter” on an Arsenal site who described us as “serial bottlers” who will obviously lose today.

We could of course get beaten, but I challenged his description and loyalty. I then called up his profile and discovered he was in fact a Liverpool fan!!

Having referred him to 30 years of waiting for his team’s current success, and possible “bottling” tendencies in that time, I gave up with reasonable debate.

So, having finished last season on a high, including that glorious win against the Dippers, what can we expect tomorrow?

I’m inclined to believe the comment, that neither team will be particularly concerned at the importance of the game, and may pick “weaker” teams. Hope however, that Mikel will see the need to try to keep momentum up and give us a team strong enough and motivated enough to get a win.

Bernd is back in as Emi is “not available” apparently. Will Mikel persist with three at the back? Pleased with Saliba’s first game on the right and, if three is the decision, would keep the MK Don’s line up. I, however, would like him to go back to four, even against those dangerous Liverpool front three ( if they play), and would select, Saliba and Holding, with Tierney and Bellerin as full backs.

I recognise that Liverpool, with their attacking fullbacks, are probably the most dangerous team to play four at the back with, but it’s what I would try out. Dont want to scare Saliba to death but…….well just me perhaps.

I would then go ‘different’ to precisely counter those full backs with five nominally in front of that back line. Shock! Horror! Not quite as radical as it sounds!A M-N on right and Saka on left. Both pressing those full backs first when Liverpool have possession. Torreira and Xhaka (if I have to!) centrally, with Dani just in front. Aubang to lead the line centrally. Pepe/Nelson to be potential right side replacements if required. Eddie and /or Laca if extra support required up front.

I’m hoping we haven’t given up on Partey, and good news to be announced re Aubameyang and Gabriel in near future. In the meantime, do us proud Gunners and make it a competitive game with hopefully a win to celebrate.


Community Shield pre match

August 2, 2015

At Last! The first truly competitive game of the 2015/16 season.

We’ve all, or at least most of us, enjoyed the pre-season tournaments, the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore saw us win the first bauble, The Emirates Cup provided us with the second. Good football, good performances and a chance to look at some of the stars of the future, all good fun.

Now we come to a match of somewhat more significance, the Community Shield against Premier League Champions Chelsea.

Some of us (37.1%) don’t rate the result very highly, others (62.9%) think it’s an MWG (must win game). Wherever you stand on the matter I’m sure 100% of you want an Arsenal win.

A win against the Champions would be a welcome boost to the morale and confidence of the squad, it might also put a bung in the mouth of the ever charming Senhor Mourinho. It would also put and end to the run of matches in which Arsene Wenger has been unable to claim a victory over the self-styled Special One.

Enough with the personalities, on with the team.

With an almost fully fit squad there can be no reason to suppose that Le Professeur will do anything but pick his strongest available starting eleven, so we should line up something close to this.


Bellerin   Mertesacker   Koscielny   Monreal

Cocquelin   Cazorla

Oxlade-Chamberlain     Ozil         Ramsey


My one caveat with the above line-up is Bellerin, the street-wise Debuchy might be preferred as his greater experience may be required to cope with readiness of Hazard to go to ground a bit too easily.

I’ve really no idea how the opposition will line up, there are reports that Costa and Cahill are carrying injuries and so must be doubtful starters, perhaps Falcao will get the nod, it will be interesting to see if he can shrug off the memory of a less than scintillating season under van Gaal at Man U.

Their manager has made the predictable calls for referees to give greater protection to Hazard, it is to be hoped that they will also take heed of that particular player’s propensity to perform a triple somersault with pike at the least provocation.

The odds are with our opponents at the moment, they are around 6/4 for the win with Arsenal at 15/8.

Is it an MWG? Can Arsenal win? Give us your opinion.

Written by Norfolk Gooner.


Never mind the media bias – We laid down a Marker

August 11, 2014

If you support Arsenal then we emphatically beat the current Premier league holders, if not it was just a training session or to some yet another pre season friendly.

All I kept hearing was that City had so many players missing including Lampard, of all people, and Sagna. If Debuchy could play then so could Sagna. Of course the small matter of our three World Cup winners not even back in training was hardly mentioned.

I think Arsène Wenger summed it up pretty well.

“To win the Community Shield gives us a positive platform to prepare, but now the Premier League starts and we have to start well,” he said.

“We know that last season we were very consistent against the teams outside the top six and not consistent against the top six teams. The year before it was reversed, so let’s hope that this year it will be right on both sides.”

Three excellent goals from Cazorla,Ramsey and Giroud and promising displays by so many it would be hard to pick a man of the match. Chambers yet again showed his maturity for one so young, Debuchy had a solid game, Santi seemed to have recovered his form, Sanogo though not perfect caused havoc in City’s defence and with a little more composure will become a good asset for the squad. Alexis will ooze class and I for one can’t wait to see him, Ozil and Ramsey play together.

I could mention every player who all contributed to playing as a team and for the best part of an hour we bossed the game and even after several substitutes by both teams the result was never in doubt.

Wenger now has the pleasant headache as to who leave out and for the majority of players to think they are an automatic choice to start, they might just have to think again. Competition is healthy.

Confidence and an eagerness to perform well was the key to this result and this should bode us well.

With Vermaelen gone I expect another signing and if we can drop down the injury league table we have a fine chance of winning the League.

All in all a more than satisfactory performance and for all the statisticians out there, when did we last win a Final at Wembley by three clear goals.


Back to Wembley

August 10, 2014

Who on earth that lives in Islington would choose a second home in the suburbs of London?

Looks like The Arsenal have. Here we go again, and I feel it may become a familiar journey.

I cannot tell you how well prepared our opponents, Manchester City, are and how they stand in terms of injuries, fitness, or pre-season form, so I’ll briefly focus on The Arsenal.

Another week in the fitness boot camp should see the side a little sharper than during last Sunday’s game. I don’t know whether our Germans will be ready, but I doubt it, which will leave an insecure defence. I say insecure, not because of the quality of the players on the field today, but rather, because more than anywhere else, it’s an understanding between them that matters, and that takes time.

Up front, the question is where does Alexis play. Personally, I think we looked much sharper with The Chilean in the middle. So I’d love to see him flanked by pace, which means Joel and The Ox.

With Arteta likely to team up with Ramsey, that would leave Santi best suited to fill the void left by the recovering Mesut.

I do, however, see a strong case for playing Mozart, and that would mean leaving out Joel.

Anyway, it would be lovely to get a win and a trophy ahead of the real battle next weekend, but equally important, for Arsène to reveal more about his thinking.

A great season lies ahead, and how exciting to have genuine options for a pre-match chat down the boozer.

Written by MickyDidIt89