Bournemouth Preview

February 27, 2019

Micky summed up Bournemouth in  a few words yesterday – Language Schools and David Wagner.

Let’s start with language schools. The moment I passed my driving test at the age of 17 my mates insisted we spent each post-season weekend down in Bournemouth. Why? Because the language schools were full of ladies from Scandinavia with, what we assumed, were looser morals than our North London girlfriends.. We would rent a few rooms in the local B&B’s and go to the school’s discos with the hope of some horizontal exercise. Were the rumours of  degenerate behaviour correct? A gentlemen couldn’t possibly say.

David Wagner: His managerial record at a club whose ground capacity is under 12k is astonishing. Wagner’s first season in 2009 saw him take over a bankrupt club. Winning promotion in his first season he has transformed Bournemouth and brought unimagined glory to the PL smallest club.  I expect him to go to Spurs when the Podgy Argie leaves for Spain.


They have some decent players, in particular, the midfielder David Brooks who scored against us at Dean Park earlier in the season. He has a bright future. Begovic always excels at the Emirates and both King and Wilson are dangerous on the break.

Arsenal: Our home record is impressive and despite a growing long-term injury list we are over-performing this transition season, Win today and we can be either 4 points from Spurs in 3rd (if Spurs lose) or 6 points ahead of the Chavs (if they lose).

Would love to see Ozil start but expect the same starting 11 as the weekend with perhaps Koscielny in for Mustafi and AMG replacing Lichtsteiner should be not be fit.

And what of Auba? Too good for the bench but we play better with one up top (IMO),. Does Emery rotate on a weekly basis? He seems to prefer the industry of Lacazette over the mercurial PEA.

B’mouth have conceded 48 PL goals and I expect us to help them reach the half century. They have lost their last 7 away fixtures.

Trouble is …. as we often discovered with those young Scandigirls that there is many a slip twix’t the cup and the lip:-D

An important game ahead of two very difficult and possibly season defining fixtures


Many questions, Few answers

January 14, 2018

Be honest, how excited are you about this game? Less than thrilled? Give a monkey’s? Stomach churning anticipation? Mildly interested?

How did you feel pre-game at season’s start?

What’s changed?


Is it the surfeit of football since Xmas? Or that Buornemouth are likely to PTB? Or that Arsenal are not exciting viewing in recent times? Or all of these?

Whatever it is, I am struggling to find the enthusiasm to write this post which is a rarity. It is instructive that the Newsnow feeds, which are my usual source of game info, have nothing on the match and all on AFC’s potentially disastrous transfer window!

Onto the game. Bournemouth are a surprise insomuch as I hardly expected them to survive a season in the PL let alone become established mid-table. This season they sit just above the drop zone but in recent weeks have improved.

It is admirable that the much-in-demand Eddie Howe has stayed, and that the BoD and backroom staff at B’mouth have created an atmosphere which not only keeps Howe satisfied but also imbues the players with confidence. Much like our own club.

Could Howe manage AFC or do we need a higher profile more Internationall experienced manager? A discussion for later.

As usual we have a swathe of injuries – JW joining the chaps on the massage table. Ramsey may well return to continue his partnership with Xhaka.

My Team:


Chambers   Mustafi   Holding

Bellerin   Ramsey    Xhaka    M-N


Lacazette    Sanchez

It is time Iwobi came good. It is time Lacazette scored. Time Sanchez showed his undoubted class and repays some of the debt he owes Mr Wenger in keeping him at such cost this season.

If we want Top 4 winning games and going on a long unbeaten run is imperative.

Let it start this afternoon.


Happy Holidays?

January 3, 2017

Bournemouth is known as the English Riviera (or it is in my family!!).  We used to holiday there in the days before I was allowed to travel on my own. When I passed my driving test Bournemouth became a weekend destination because there were language schools full of Scandigirls who had weekend discos ( a portent for my future!) …. you can guess the rest!

As such Bournemouth raises happy memories in BR’s ageing head, let’s hope I feel the same way at game’s end today.


Eddie Howe has done an amazing job . Not only keeping a small club in the PL but doing so by playing attacking football. They almost gave us a shock at the Emirates where a 90th minute goal from Sanchez sealed the points. We won 3-1 in an absorbing game with Bournemouth missing many chances. It was the game of Debuchy’s brief return.

Rotation will the keyword today. I expect AW to rest a few and perhaps finally experiment with the Ramsey/Xhaka combo.

My Team:


Bellerin    Mustafi     Koscielny    Monreal

Ramsey    Xhaka      Coquelin

Perez       Giroud     Sanchez

Has AW the courage to rest Sanchez given that Ozil is out again? If so, it would be intersting to see Ox start on the right with Perez on the left. Or Iwobi.

I cannot recall a run of games when the whole of the top 6 win so consistently, Spurs, L’pool, MU and Chelsea have stepped up a gear and we need to do the same.  A win today is important, a draw is simply not enough. Winning under this kind of pressure is what makes Champions, and we will see how the team responds.

I still maintain that we were unfortunate in both losses in December and that it affected the fans more than the team – time will tell.

We are unbeaten in 2017, let’s keep it that way