Petr Cech makes a point

October 23, 2016

Oh boy, what a difference a few days makes in Arsenal world. From heroes on Wednesday night to zeroes by Saturday afternoon.

Arsenal twitter was best avoided yesterday evening and it’s entirely possible that no-one will be bothered to want to comment about the game today. But there are things to say …….

Petr Cech kept us in the game and saved us the embarrassment of a possible home defeat. He looked like he meant business from the start following on from Ospina’s fine display the other night. Competition is good.

Boro didn’t actually come to play football but as luck would have it (their luck that is) we couldn’t resist giving them a couple of opportunities to try and score. Cech’s agility was amazing and many stood and applauded his fine saves. The very experienced Valdes also kept Boro in the game.

So what was wrong with our team? No Cazorla we know from last season upsets the balance in midfield. I felt that both Elneny and Coquelin were too static, they seemed to be protecting each other and so there was no fluidity through midfield which slowed down the attack.

The pacy thrusting runs of late just weren’t there. Alexis was hampered and maybe this was a game for Giroud as many high balls were played over the top.

Everyone seemed tired, although Theo was lively but couldn’t add any goals and Mesut just didn’t want to score yesterday😉

Parked buses always present us with a big problem and the longer we go in a game without scoring the more difficult it gets. If only we could put away a couple of early chances …………

But ……… hey ho, We Are Top Of The League …….. if only for a few hours ……. so we really mustn’t complain🙂

Written by peachesgooner 

Swansea hoodoo broken

October 16, 2016

Yesterday’s game had everything: excitement, drama and sex, yes sex, the third goal from Mesut was sex. One of the best games, excitement wise, I have seen at THOF in a while.

Here are some player ratings……….

Cech: will you stop hoofing the ball up field, almost always we lose possession, just roll it out, simples. 6

Bellerin: Hector can do no wrong. 8

Mustafi: Everyone’s favourite new player looks more and more like a bargain after every game he plays. 8

Koscielny: Captain Fantastic. 8

Monreal: OK, but got roasted a few too many times in the second half and was responsible for Swansea’s second goal. 5

Xhaka: did start off quietly commanding but he gave the ball away badly for Swansea’s first goal and it should be noted that that is the second time that he has done that. The red card should have been a yellow, just rugby tackle him if you want to make sure the player doesn’t go any further. 5

Cazorla: passing was a bit off today, not the best game but with his smile how can you not love him. 6

Ozil: this man is getting near to being the best player we have ever had, his winner was worthy of the great Dutchman himself; one of the great Arsenal goals of all time. 9

Iwobi: it is impressive that someone so young can hold his own in the ball control stakes with Ozil and Sanchez, in many ways he looks more comfortable playing with those two than Walcott does but the hyperbole has advanced quicker than the reality of where Alex is in his career. I am not suggesting that there isn’t an awful lot more to come from the player but right now Welbeck would and should walk straight back into that team. With maturity you get a confident selfishness as a striker, a determination and a self belief that you can always score. Welbeck has this Iwobi hasn’t — yet.

Sanchez: passing astray, trying too hard and then he crosses the ball for Ozil to score our third with such accuracy I wonder why I even bother thinking about a negative side at all. 7

Walcott: New Theo and Old Theo were on display today, New Theo scored two vital goals, Old Theo missed two sitters. 7

Good subs by the way, the Ox was impressive.

Written by LB

Wenger In or Wenger Out?

October 1, 2016

I am asking you to vote – do you want Wenger to sign a new contract or do you want him to go and inevitably become the next English manager?

This month we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Arsene Wenger’s managerial career at the Arsenal. Quite frankly, in this day and age, that is an unbelievable achievement in itself. Many managers have been given their P45 days after they have started their job. Chelsea have had 8 (Mouinho counts as 2) managers in the past 20 years! Man United had 4 since Fergie left. Congratulations Mr Wenger.



With the departure of Sam Allardyce, the search for the new English manager is on. This time the FA are not making a secret of the fact that Arsene Wenger was before Sam and still is their first choice.  ‘Arsene Wenger would “fit the criteria perfectly” of the next England manager, according to Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn’.  Terrific news for Wenger; true recognition of him at the top of professionals in the footballing world.

Now. We have suffered the usual roller coaster start to the season. We have seen the worst and the best from our team. This is seriously messing up my head – a month ago I wanted Wenger out and made my views known. Today I cannot bear the fact that he could leave – what will we do then? We were nice and safe in his hands. The next manager could bring havoc to our stately home at the Emirates.

How do you feel on the subject? Let me know………….

Written by Eddie

Arsenal’s Most Valuable

September 30, 2016

A couple of seasons ago, I penned a post making the case for Theo being our most valuable player.

It stated that I didn’t think he was our best player in any particular position, rather that he was the most irreplaceable because of the threat he posed an opposition defence, and hence the value.

This summer saw us make some great signings right the way down the spine of the team. Of course we haven’t seen too much of Lucas Perez, but that is more to do with Arsene’s juggling of the pack across the front.

Right now, Arsenal are playing the best football we have witnessed in many years, however, one thing is for certain, both injuries and fatigue will come, and then we’ll see the real strength of the squad.

We have been watching what many would consider our best starting XI, and equally, many will be nervously thinking about where it will go wrong. Therefore, I’d love to hear your thoughts on where you see our Achilles heel.

The little I saw of Holding fills me with enormous confidence, and I also have a sneaky suspicion Gabriel might come good in the same way Laurent did, meanwhile the defensive side of midfield looks to me our strongest area.

My own view on Aaron differs to some regulars on here in that I don’t see him as a specialist in any role of our current system, however, he is a superb multi-functional stand in for a number of roles. I remember how last season we played arguably our best two games with Aaron on the right.

Strangely, and here you’ll think I’m being wildly optimistic, I fear injury to Mesut less than before as I believe Iwobi would do a more than adequate job standing in for an unreplaceable.

If I had to pick one player to represent that bit of Achilles, then it would be Bellerin.

What do you think?

Written by mickydidit89

Cheating Costa to get his Comeuppance?

September 24, 2016

What would we do without the comedy villain? In the past it has been Shearer, then Sheringham, Van Nistelrooy or Keane, Shawcross etc. I guess it has always been such as we construct our narrative about our favourite game. Chelsea are unusual insomuch  as they have two.

And we all know who we want to get a good shoeing and a red card this afternoon.

Diego Costa is a player whom I would love to see in the red and white of Arsenal, he is a horrible but efficient, destructive player. I suspect that off pitch he is a really good bloke but on-pitch he changes. We do not have anyone like him and perhaps we are the lesser team because of our “niceness”. Perhaps Xhaka will change this.

Of course ,the other villain is the ageing and possibly missing JT . Be honest – if he had been in the Arsenal shirt and under the tutelage of Mr. Wenger for the last 15 years we could have been a legend; instead Terry is a boor.


We need to win today, we need to beat Chelsea and get this monkey off the back. Me-rinho has gone but we still haven’t beaten them in too long, much too long.

Let’s be clear, whatever they do Chelsea will always be in our shadow. Arsenal are the biggest club in London and no amount of illicit money will change that. Yes, they have won more silverware in the past 10 years than we have but so what? We have history, Chelsea have Russian money.

I still admire Fabregas. Bear with me, this is a man who desperately wanted to return to his home club in Barcelona, got binned and saw the error of his ways. He wanted to re-sign for Arsenal but Mr Wenger decided we  had better, it wasn’t Cesc’s fault that we signed Ozil and Cazorla. Why castigate the poor chap who has to pull on that repulsive Blue shirt? Isn’t that enough punishment? Imagine the pain every time he has to walk into the dressing room. I think the chap deserves our sympathy not our dislike.

We go into the game on a strong run of results and must be confident. The Alexis experiment is likely to continue and I expect AW to pick the same team which won at Hull

My Team:


Bellerin    Mustafa    Koscielny    Monreal

Cazorla   Coquelin    Iwobi

Walcott    Sanchez    Ozil

One of the most interesting aspects of today’s game will be how Mustafi copes with the aggression of Costa, let us hope he can control himself better than Gabriel!

Also, how will Hazard play? If he is on-song the man is a potent weapon and will certainly stretch our defence.

It should be a cracking game, especially if Chelsea  and Conte choose to attack.

I see no reason why we cannot win against a team who, quite frankly, have besmirched our wonderful sport since the days of the execrable criminal Ken Bates. We are the men in the white hats waiting for the outlaws to arrive. let’s give them a thrashing and send them home crying.

Let it be so


Southampton pre-match

September 10, 2016

In the 2001 census Southampton and Portsmouth were recorded as being parts of separate urban areas, however by the time of the 2011 census they had merged to become the sixth largest built-up area in England with a population of 855,569. This built-up area is part of the metropolitan area known as South Hampshire, which is also known as Solent City, particularly in the media when discussing local governance organisational changes. With a population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom’s most populous metropolitan areas.

Here are a few miscellaneous pieces of trivia about Southampton.

The Mayflower, the famed ship which brought the Pilgrim Fathers to America, actually set sail from Southampton. There were in fact two ships – The Mayflower and The Speedwell, which left Southampton together in early August, 1620.

However, the smaller Speedwell was soon found to be taking on water, so the two ships diverted to Dartmouth for repairs before setting sail again, only for The Speedwell to spring yet another leak. All the passengers then clambered onto The Mayflower and continued on for Cape Cod in New England that September.

God’s House Tower, on the corner of Town Quay, Lower Canal Walk and Platform Road, was the first dedicated artillery fortification built in England. It was constructed in 1417, as part of the drive to fortify Southampton following the French raids some 80 years earlier. The town gunner was paid sixpence a week.

Southampton played a major role in the success of fish fingers. Clarence Birdseye tested herring sticks and cod sticks on shoppers in Southampton and South Wales. The Southampton customers loved the cod sticks, which then became known as fish fingers and rolled out across the country.

Arsenal and Southampton have played against each other 34 times in the Premier League

The record is –

Away – W6, D5, L6, GF23, GA21

Home – W12, D5, L0, GF41, GA 14

Our home record is most impressive not losing a game and winning 80.4% of the points.

I see no reason for this to change and I predict a straightforward 3-0 win.

My prediction for our starting eleven will be –



Subs – Ospina, Gibbs, Holding, Mustafi, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ox.



Wenger: End of an Era or a New Beginning?

September 8, 2016

Is Mr. Wenger building a squad for his successor or as a squad to see him through his next contract?

Arsenal have spent over €100m this year, it is unprecedented; add to this the signings of Ozil, Sanchez and Gabriel and you can see that the squad is very different from that we had  just a few seasons ago.

Mr. Wenger has regularly built squads over his 20+ years, often assembled around a player (Fabregas) or a style of play (Invincibles). This one reminds me of the early days of Petit and Vieira.

It remains to be seen whether Xhaka and his fellow midfielders can have the influence of the PV/EP axis but I have a good feeling about it. Whether it will be Xhaka, Elneny and Ramsey or Xhaka, Coquelin and Cazorla or another combination, it is the midfield where the power of the new Arsenal will crystallise.

For many years the fans (AA’ers included) have begged for three signings – a CB, a DM and a striker with pace. We have them. The next question is whether the signings are good enough. As usual, they are not from the current top-drawer – no Pogba or Higuain for us – but Mr. Wenger has a history of signing good players and making them great.

There is much to discuss about the transfer window; why were Campbell , Wilshire and Chambers allowed to leave? It is clear that Arsene has made some tough decisions on players who have stalled in their progress. Perhaps the alarming improvement in Walcott’s attitude is due to a new fear factor within the club. If so, this is a necessary development as some players have not had enough competition for their places and become complacent.


Today we have a squad where no-one apart from Ozil, Bellerin, Sanchez and Koscielny is an automatic starter. This has to be of benefit to Arsenal over the coming years.


Then there is the age of the squad. We have a number of players approaching 30 and AW has managed to buy in youth (apart from Perez). In my opinion, we have some very exciting times ahead as Mr Wenger moulds what could be his final squad. Let us hope he has as much success as SAF’s last hurrah.

The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

written by Big Raddy