Is there going to be any decent football to watch for the next 16 days?

March 16, 2019

The short answer is ‘no’ as our next competitive game is not until April Fools day. April the first is a Monday so even when proper football returns, we’ll have to wait for the whole weekend to pass before seeing the lads play again.

When I say ‘competitive’ match, I notice that a new fixture has appeared on AFC.com, a friendly on Tuesday March 26th, 3pm kick off. This is part of a mid-season break in Dubai for those not involved in the internationals and the opposition is Al-Nasr Dubai SC. This is not purely an exercise in trying to boost our profile in the Middle East, latching on to a portion of oil money. Oh no.

Al Nasr capture former PSG midfielder Cabaye

How about this weekend? Is there anything interesting in the Prem games. Saturday is a complete wash out with three non-entity fixtures. Let’s hope the rugby is good and England still have something to play for at 5 o’clock.

Sunday sees Liverpool trying to go back to the top of the table at everyone’s favourite ground, Craven Cottage, followed by the chavs at Goodison. Theo always used to score against them, didn’t he?

There appear to be some FA cup games this weekend, too, but hold little appeal for anyone apart from fans of the participating teams. Millwalll fans have been told they’ll get a severe telling off if there’s any homophobic chanting at the Brighton fans. Good luck with that. City and United to go through to add to their fixture congestion? Who cares?

As far as the international fixtures are concerned, attention turns to European Championship qualifying. Yawn.

England play the Czech Republic next Friday at 7.45 and Montenegro away on the Monday evening.

When the Premier League returns, City go to the Cottage (lucky Fulham!), the red mancs are at home to Watford and on the Sunday, the chavs are at Cardiff and spuds go to Anfield. 🙂

Let’s hope all our boys involved in matches for their respective countries return unscathed, so when April does come around we can continue afresh.

The following is a translation from the French website Ouest France and is just an excuse to show another photo of the lovely Ben Arfa. My reaction to seeing photos of him has gone from disgust to barely concealed delight. No idea why.

Hatem Ben Arfa kicked off the second leg last Thursday: “Now we’re favorites and we’ll go to London to win. “Having fun with the behavior of his former coach at PSG, which had deprived him of competition for a year and a half, after doing everything to recruit him:” I saw the same Unai Emery, who was very excited on the bench. I looked at him from time to time, and it made me laugh a little, because he did not change. “

Ben Arfa and Le Wagner on Thursday afternoon

chas


Welbeck denied a typical Welbeck goal

September 9, 2018

So, the UEFA Nations Cup opened up for England in dramatic style with the ref displaying the usual UEFA bias towards Spanish teams when he disallowed Danny Welbeck’s late equaliser.

Foul?

Apparently the goal was disallowed because Welbz just stood underneath De Gea waiting for him to fall on top of him! Reasoning of that kind just beggars belief.

Wembley looked rammed as the new competition format promised more than the usual tedious friendlies. Spain were the classier outfit throughout as you might expect with so many spuds on show for England. The Spanish (and Basques) shaded possession but had fewer shots on target from the same number of efforts on goal.

The moment all Arsenal fans were waiting for came in the 94th minute – there was a large amount of injury time due to an unfortunate clash of heads involving the unlucky Luke Shaw just after half time. Welbz had only been on the pitch for a minute or two when he majestically stroked the ball into the net after De Gea fumbled.

After consultation, the bent ref ruled the goal out and England’s celebrations were cut short. Here’s the incident, judge for yourself.

  chas (didn’t watch the game but am still livid)

 


Groups A and B to a Finish

June 25, 2018

England blast Panama and Group H reveals itself as most intriguing with its diverse participants.

The first two groups complete today. Group A is done apart from who’s first and second.

Group B will probably still finish with the two favourites going through but you never know.


England Expects – World Cup 2nd Sunday

June 24, 2018

So Die Mannschaft finally found some stiffness late on.

Today’s all about hats and cigars early on.

Group H throws up two tasty games with everything to play for. Will the Poles decide to take the Rolls Royce out of the garage for a must-win match?

 

 


Interlull Injuries

March 23, 2018

Not only is a 3 week lay-off mid-season inordinately dull, it is also costly to the Arsenal squad.

Unknown.jpeg

Both Wilshire and Koscielny have been withdrawn from their respective squads for games this weekend.

Fortunately both injuries appear to be wear and tear and not something as devastating as JW’s ankle knack when playing another meaningless game for England.

How does this help the club which pays their wages?

There isn’t an answer. If I were a player my ambition would always be to represent my country and friendlies, as crap as they are, are still a cap.

Let us hope nothing untoward happens to our Internationals before we play Stoke at home

written by Big Raddy


Arsenal News or Lack of.

March 31, 2017

I write posts, a lot of them. Well over 500 in the AA years since 2010 (?). Yet here I sit, staring at my keyboard completely bereft of ideas for a post. Why? Because of the Interlull.

It is crap. International games have become meaningless as most of our players play for countries which invariably qualify top of their Euro/World Cup groups. Quite frankly, we do not care about watching England struggle against Lithustania.

Other players are involved in long-distance travel to S. America or Africa, expend huge energy in travel, training and playing time, then return to AFC (their wage payers) Kerry Packered or injured.

My suggestion is that for the top National teams they stop qualification tournaments which are dull and only exist to make money for already rich Associations. The big tournaments should be seeded.

Right, enough of that train of thought ….

Bored with “will he stay or should he stay”

Bored with “will they sign a contract extension”.

Bored with discussions about Silent Stan and his cohorts ideas for the future of the club.

So what to write about?

I could , of course, pre-empt my pre-match and start the ball rolling on a discussion about our huge game on Sunday, but what of tradition? We have still three days to go and what do we discuss tomorrow and Sunday morning?

I could express my dislike of small dogs, plimsolls, coloured Doctor Martins, and my love of sliders and ladies with “abundance”, but we have done that, haven’t we, and at least the posts should be football related.

Or we could not have a post at all. In my opinion the site would die if we only post a couple of times a week and I would hate that to happen.

So … I remain blank. Perhaps you have an idea?

written by Big Raddy


Pl 6 W5 D1 L0. Our Boys in France.

June 13, 2016

First to kick off at the Euros were The FP and Koscielny. Both had fine games with OG scoring the opening goal of the tournament, a classic centre forward’s headed goal. Given the pressure under which Giroud plays in France he must have left the pitch highly satisfied. Koscielny played as he does for Arsenal, with calm efficiency.

Aaron Ramsey: I like his hair colour – it makes him  very easy to identify. Ramsey had a strange game. Started in the number 10 role playing high up the pitch yet as the game progressed moved deeper and deeper. In the second half he was in his Arsenal position which is all over the place.

It would be an exaggeration to say Ramsey dominated the game but he was influential. Next up England where he will hopefully kick lumps out of TotEngland.

Granit Xhaka: Our first view of him as an Arsenal player. I suggested his play was similar to Elneny insomuch as he can break up play but also move forward to assist the attack and predicted a season on the bench for Coquelin. LB’s wrote “To me he looks like a straight swap for Arteta: plays deep, accurate passing, will link the defence with the attack as well as Arteta at his best, expected a tad more defensively and for that I can see slightly more of a time share with Coquelin.”

We shall see.

Wilshire: England kicked off without Jack! It was clear to see how much they improved when he came on. The media are raving about the quality of the England performance – I have no idea why apart from trying to keep interest in the team and tournament. How many chances did they create for the “lethal” Harry Kane? How could Hodgson keep a poor Sterling on the pitch with Vardy on the bench?  Against a poor Russia team a draw was Spursy.

Szczesny. Clean sheet, made a couple of fine saves. Didn’t have much to do in a game totally dominated by Poland but what he had to do he did with aplomb.

Ozil: Mesut was fairly anonymous but created a last minute goal for Schweini. As always the oil in the German attack, he rarely gave up the ball and unusually played the whole game.

So…. our boys result so far.  Played 6 W5 D1 L0.

Cech, Rosicky, Bellerin all play today (if selected).


Our Boys in France

June 8, 2016

We have 10 players strutting their stuff at the Euro’s, how will they fare?

In a quiet summer where transfer rumours are few and far between we need something to chat about so I suggest we look at the performances of our chaps on a game by game basis.

So, on Friday we have Koscielny and Giroud quickening the pulse playing for France against Romania KO. 20.00 GMT.

Saturday afternoon gives us a view of Granit Xhaka playing for Switzerland against Albania.

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The evening entertainment is England’s first game and the chance that Wilshire will start. In my opinion he is head and shoulders England’s best midfielder (name a better one) and must start.

Aaron Ramsey will also be playing on Saturday at 17.00 GMT vs Slovakia. Surely a must win game for Wales.

TPIG is in the squad for Poland on Sunday at 17.00 GMT but I expect Flapianski to start ahead of him.

Mesut Ozil kicks off his campaign against on Sunday night at 20.00 GMT against Ukraine.

Young Hector should start for Spain on Monday at 14.00 GMT against our gloveman Petr Cech who is representing Czech Republic alongside the wonderful Tomas Rosicky.

Luckily, most of our players have not been selected and will hopefully start the season rested and 100% fit. Who knows – it could happen!

written by Big Raddy


Was Friday night a full moon as the Wolf came out to play

March 30, 2015

Morning all

England played Lithuania on Friday night at Wembley with an 80,000 odd crowd turning up to watch England win a rather one sided game 4-0.

England Captain Wayne Rooney came close to opening the scoring just after the start when he ran onto a through ball and tried to beat the keeper to his left hand side. Rooney had beaten him by a mile but the ball hit the inside of the upright and rebounded away to safety. Not long after that Danny Welbeck picked up a through ball from Fabian Delph and after a great run he tried to shoot past the keeper but hit him instead, the rebound was in the air and Rooney put his head on it and found the back of the net. 1-0.

Danny worked hard and he was to be rewarded early in the second half when he went down low to steer a header towards goal where it rebounded off a defender’s leg but he couldn’t keep it out. The evenings pundits couldn’t give it to Danny as it hit a defender but England were in complete control over what I thought was a really bad Lithuania eleven, as has been said, you can only play who is in front of you.

Joe Hart could have had a shampoo and set as he was idle for most of this match as the Lithuania attack was non existent.  The England supporters were comfortable and enjoying the game as the goals were coming along so no need to worry. Roy Hodgson  was clenching his fist and punching the air, he won’t manage many easier games than this one.

Raheem Sterling although nursing an injured toe had agreed to play this game as it was a qualifier. After the game, Roy Hodgson said that Stirling would now be able to have an injection in the toe and had already agreed that he wouldn’t play against the Italians this week. Raheem did get on the score sheet as he broke through the Lithuanian defence as easy as a hot knife through butter, he got onto the ball and steered it past the hapless keeper and that was 3-0.

Near the end our Danny was subbed.  He looked to have picked up a leg injury as he was limping as he trudged off. Hodgson also spoke about him after the game and said that he too would miss the next game.

Harry (Wolfie) Kane came on. The papers and media had had a field day praising this 21 year old player from the swamp. Harry was on for 80 seconds when a quite brilliant bit of trickery from Stirling down the left hand side culminating in a magnificent deep cross was excitingly headed in by Wolfie. The fans, pundits and players went mental, Wolfie on his début with an 80 second first touch had put the icing on the cake. 4-0.

Hodgeson tried to defuse the speculation on Harry (Wolfie) Kane as a  future saviour by saying that Harry needs to be brought along slowly and he would appreciate it if there was not too much pressure on the young lad so early on in his career.`I expect Wolfie will have been eager to buy up all the newspapers.

The England Captain Wayne Rooney also spoke after the game. As he nears Bobby Charlton’s record for goals for England was quick to praise the players for a fine performance. Wayne had a good game and was a handful as usual, but was quick to praise the other young strikers. It doesn’t seem that long ago when he broke onto the England scene and now as he approaches record breaking feats another hopeful burst on to the scene. Rooney has come a long way, England have had a few knocks as has Rooney but for captain and rookies the future looks considerably good, 4-0 to England and I feel the English support went home very happy.

Steve Palmer

 


Blast from the Past No. 18 England’s World Cup History

June 13, 2014

world-cup

The World Cup competition began in 1930, and has since become the world’s largest sporting event. It has been staged every four years since then with the exception of 1942 and 1946, when the Second World War forced its suspension.

England did not enter the first three competitions of 1930, 1934 and 1938. Although FIFA sought England’s participation, the Football Association declined all invitations. Not until the fourth tournament in 1950 did England take part.

England has entered all 16 post-war competitions. They reached the final tournament 13 times. They qualified through play in the preliminary competition on 11 occasions (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), as host country once (1966) and as reigning champions once (1970). They failed to qualify for the final tournaments on only three occasions (1974, 1978 and 1994).

England has had only moderate success in the World Cup, and that is perhaps a fair reflection of their standing in world football.

englandwcteam66

They have won the tournament just once, in 1966, when it was held on English soil and they played all their matches at their home ground, Wembley Stadium, an advantage extended to no other team in World Cup history. Their 4-2 extra-time victory against West Germany in the only final match they have reached has remained clouded by the controversy over whether their third goal, the first of extra-time, actually crossed the goal line.

ENGLAND SOCCER WC 1966

England reached the semi-finals on only one other occasion, at the 1990 tournament in Italy, where, following extra-time victories over Belgium and Cameroon, they went down to West Germany on penalty kicks after a 1-1 extra-time draw. They then lost the third-place match to the host nation, 2-1.

Englands WC placing

England has reached the quarterfinals on six other occasions, at the 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002 and 2006 tournaments. At the 1982 competition in Spain, where the final tournament was conducted through two group stages with the teams topping the four second-round groups proceeding directly to the semi-finals, England finished the second group stage unbeaten but was therefore eliminated.

England have been eliminated in the round of 16 teams stage on two occasions since the final tournament was expanded to more than 16 teams in 1982–at the 1998 final tournament in France and the 2010 final tournament in South Africa.

England have been eliminated at the first round group stage on two occasions 1950 and 1958, when they finished level in group play with the USSR but lost a playoff match.

The World Cup has been a frustrating odyssey for England, particularly since 1966. At several tournaments, their performances have filled their fans with justified hope, but in the end, they have just not had enough to overcome the world’s most powerful teams in crucial knockout matches.

Consolation-seekers like to point out that it has been England’s misfortune to meet the eventual World Cup winners in the knockout stages of four tournaments. They went out to Brazil, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the 1962 tournament, to Argentina, 2-1 by way of Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal, in the quarterfinals of the 1986 tournament, to West Germany, on penalty kicks after a 1-1 extra-time draw, in the semi-finals of the 1990 tournament and to Brazil again, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2002 tournament after holding the lead.

On three occasions they have been eliminated in penalty-kick shootouts, in the 1990 semi-final against West Germany, the 1998 round-of-16-teams match against Argentina following a 2-2 extra-time draw in which they played a man short following the expulsion early in the second-half of midfielder David Beckham. On a third occasion, in the 2006 quarter-finals, England were eliminated by Portugal following a 0-0 draw.

Perhaps most disappointing was their elimination at the 1982 tournament in Spain. Having won all three of their group matches quite handily, all they could muster in their second-round group was a pair of goalless draws against eventual finalist West Germany and hosts Spain. They went home unbeaten, having yielded only one goal in five matches.

Our first game in the 2014 group stage is on June 13th vs Italy.

There will be no predictions from GN5 I simply want our team to play up to their top potential and hope that Lady Luck favours us.

world cup history

World Cup Finals
1 Jul 30 1930 Uruguay 4 Argentina 2
2 Jun 10 1934 Italy 2 Czechoslovakia 1
3 Jun 19 1938 Italy 4 Hungary 2
4 Jul 16 1950 Uruguay 2 Brazil 1
5 Jul 04 1954; Germany 3 Hungary 2
6 Jun 29 1958; Brazil 5 Sweden 2
7 Jun 17 1962; Brazil 3 Czechoslovakia 1
8 Jul 30 1966; England 4 Germany 2
9 Jun 21 1970; Brazil 4 Italy 1
10 Jul 7 1974; Germany 2 Netherlands 1
11 Jun 25 1978; Argentina 3 Netherlands 1
12 Jul 11 1982; Italy 3 Germany 1
13 Jun 29 1986; Argentina 3 Germany 2
14 Jul 08 1990; Germany 1 Argentina 0
15 Jul 17 1994; Brazil* 0 Italy 0
16 Jul 12 1998; France 3 Brazil 0
17 Jun 30 2002; Brazil 2 Germany 0
18 Jul 09 2006; Italy* 1* France 1
19 Jul 11 2010; Spain 1 Netherlands 0
* Won on Penalty Kicks

wc finals appearances

 

GunnerN5