When will we see The Emery Effect?

June 2, 2018

Just won our first trophy of the new season as Beth Mead was voted England’s Women’s Young Player of the Year. Well played Beth.

It is early days in the transfer market. It will be a very busy few weeks as the transfer period has been shortened to conclude on Aug 9th instead of Aug 31st, plus few players will be willing to discuss moving clubs during the World Cup.

We have discussed at length the needs of the team though Emery may well disagree. Do you think it was the new manager who decided the shirt numbers? If so, Cech is our Number One and my hopes of us signing a top quality young GK will be dashed. Perhaps the young GK’s at Arsenal are considered to be good enough to step up the the first team.

How will Emery assess the strength of the squad without actually working with them? He will not get the chance until after the WC and the player’s holiday time. I doubt we will see the Emery effect until after Xmas.


Anyone who watched the France vs Italy game last night will have seen why Lacazette is not in their final 23. Two teenage front men whose combined transfer fees are €400m (yes – €400m) were frighteningly good. Lemar got a short kickabout and our former target looks top quality, though whether he is worth €100m is doubtful. I can see France winning the WC playing some wonderful attacking football, if they don’t it will be due to crap management.

Not much going on, hence the randomness (is that a word) of the post!

written by Big Raddy


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.


Both Wilshire and Koscielny have been withdrawn from their respective squads for games this weekend.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

Prêt à acheter, Arsène

June 13, 2017

Come on, you get my drift. Pret à Manger, Pret à Porter, Footballers to Buy.

Anyway, France v England tonight (and on proper telly) in a friendly, and oh garçon, do they have some good footballers.

Looking through their squad there are quite a few who I reckon would look excellent in an Arsenal shirt, and don’t forget, the list does not include Benzema or Martial.


Hugo Lloris

Defenders: Lucas Digne, Christophe Jallet, Presnel Kimpembe , Laurent Koscielny, Benjamin Mendy, Djibril Sidibe , Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Kurt Zouma

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante ,Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba,  Adrien Rabiot,  Moussa Sissoko , Corentin Tolisso

Forwards: Ousmane Dembele , Olivier Giroud , Antoine Griezmann , Alexandre Lacazette , Thomas Lemar , Kylian Mbappe , Dimitri Payet , Florian Thauvin


Personally, I can’t stand England because of the filth that follow them, so couldn’t care less who wins, but I will watch with my Arsenal eyes glued to the French.

Guessing we’ll buy three players this summer, and with one excellent looking signing in the bag already, I would be very happy to select two more from that French lot.

Written  by MickyDidIt89

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.


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

Koscielny is Key

July 2, 2014

Watching the World Cup and our players representing their countries it is possible to view their performances without the bias of an Arsenal match.  I would like to highlight our central defenders.


Having enjoyed the Germany/ Algeria game it became apparent that Mertesacker was being focussed upon by the Algerian midfield. They chose to send long balls onto a forward who was as close to Per as possible. Why? Because Per has excellent vision and pitch awareness, he knows where to snuff out danger and how to make the best of his talents, but what he doesn’t have is pace. My grandmother with bricks on her feet has more pace – even I am fleeter of foot. In the first half in particular the Algerians attacked this weakness. The German response was to use the goalkeeper Neuer as a sweeper – not the most secure defensive tactic!

Germany use Merts as the distributor from the back and as such he is always the last man and it repeatedly caused Germany problems. He does the same at Arsenal but for us he doesn’t appear to be such a liability – why?

Let’s look at France’s defensive set-up. Two attacking wingers, the best (? RM think so) young centre back in world football and Koscielny. What has become clear is just how reliant France are upon Kos’s awareness and pace. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Varane may well become a brilliant player but right now he is being educated by his centre back partner. It was good fortune for France that Sakho was injured and Deschamps was forced to play Kos whom the French blamed for the loss in their first game against Ukraine in the WC play-offs.


Kos is two-footed according to Sagna (and he should know), he has a prodigious leap, is tactically aware but above all is is quick – very quick. Arsene bought him for €9m and after a problematic opening season he has developed into a key player at Arsenal. When he is missing even a fine defender like Vermaelen cannot fully replace him.

Which brings me to this. To be successful one has to have a proper CB partnership – we have one of the finest. Per and Laurent complement each other. They have different skills – Kos is a better tackler, Merts is better in the air, Kos is better with the ball at hois feet and running into midfield, Merts is better at distribution out of defence.

The fact of the matter is that Mertesacker is a better player when Koscielny is by his side and vice versa.

There isn’t a better CB partnership in the World Cup than Arsenal have at the Emirates – we should be proud.

Written by Big Raddy

Poll: Today’s winners?

June 30, 2014

France vs Nigeria: Nigeria squeezed through qualification but I like them. Decent footballers with considerable skill, great athletes and a fine kit. Part of my affection is due to spending much time in Nigeria searching for unknown breeds of fish (unsuccessfully!!., And then there is the Kanu factor. I loved Kanu – still do,  a real gentleman and a superb ambassador for his country, oh, and the scorer of the finest hat-trick ever seen at Stamford Bridge. And if that isn’t enough Nwanko remains a committed Gooner as you can see from his website.

The French. I have a love/hate relationship with both the country and the football team. I so much enjoyed the victory in 1998 when Arsenal won the World Cup but I also enjoyed the disaster in South Africa in 2010. This time we have a few lads in the French squad and for that reason I will support them tonight. They have a flaky manager – how else can one explain how Deschamps would  pick Sakho ahead of Koscielny or drop Giroud after an exceptional performance against the Swiss?

So, it’s France for me.

Germany vs Algeria: Another African team and one who will give the Germans a tough match. They have surprised many (including BR) with their teamwork but surely tonight is the end of an exciting journey. 4 goals against Korea was a shock but highlighted what an easy group they were in.

Germay will be rightly confident. They are the best European side and have yet to hit top form. With 3 AFC players (plus hopefully one or two more to come) in the squad and at least two to start, they have to be favourites. Nonetheless, if they get beaten it will give our lads a couple of weeks more holiday

Germany win.

I hate the French but like sizzling hot redheads

June 24, 2012

I need to open with a couple of points of clarification. I hate the French for not beating Spain, and the bit about redheads was only lobbed in to garner hits.

Now I have to admit that due to other commitments, I only watched ten minutes of the France-Spain encounter, however, I was bored rigid. If the Spanish pass, pass, pass, pass, pass game is any way the apex or ultimate variant of the Barca Style, then I want “out” now.

When we at The Arsenal play our intricate little passing triangles with 70% possession, while camped in the final third and the opposition with the bus firmly parked, quite often the most exciting moments of the game are when said oppo. break free and counter.

Back in the day, when DB and TH graced the hallowed green meadow at Highbury, we would power away up field from defending a corner with such electric pace and fluidity that the opposition would be transfixed like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

By all means let’s hog possession, but can’t we do it lower down and save the high line for taking the mick once we are two up after ten minutes.

Look at the times we were undone at home last season, by whom, and playing what system?

What I will now call the “Sparca Style” lacks pace, expansiveness and above all excitement. It has become, to my bright eyes at least, a bus parky variation. Simply, they are parking further up the road.

The only times we get to Ooo and Ahhh during Barca play is when we witness moments of magic from a Messi or an Iniesta. What I’m saying is, would those moments simply be magnified if played at high speed and in wide open spaces.

“This is rubbish” I said to myself while watching my whole ten minutes. It’s like a game of pass the bloomin’ parcel where the host Mum has left the cd playing and buggered off outside for a fag or two.

What I am saying is let’s mix it up. Not long ball, but just remember it’s a long pitch so let’s use it.

Oh, and who I am I kidding, I really do hate the French (I had a wee bet on the soap dodgers to win), and I also do like sizzling hot redheads (although “did like” would be slightly more accurate).

Written by MickyDidIt89

Is Hugo Lloris Really The Answer?

June 23, 2010

Yesterday, France exited the World Cup pretty much as they entered it – just a tad embarrassed.

Those whose heads should bow in eternal shame are Sidney Govou, Franck Ribery, Patrice Evra and everyone’s friend Raymond Domenech. It was a complete disgrace and to be honest you’d have to really feel for the French fans who went to South Africa. The tricolour that had “shame” written across it said it all. Hopefully for the sake of French football Blanc can wipe the slate clean and start all over again. If the French public are patient hopefully he can do it – old heads like Henry, Gallas and Anelka will retire while embarrassments like Evra should never don the famous blue again.

Happily, I can report that the Arsenal contingent tried their best unlike 99% of the rest. Sagna and Gallas at least looked interested and ran (while others stayed in a jog), Clichy as always gave it everything while its hard to know when Diaby is trying or not because he always gives off the same vibe so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Another one of the French players who survived with his persona in tact is one who has lately been mooted as the next big thing in the goalkeeping world. France’s number one, Hugo Lloris, has been linked with Arsenal so often I’ve lost count. A lot of the blogs seem to really want him too. I wanted him – up until the World Cup started. Once again it seems to be a case of watching a couple of games and basing judgement on those snippets (I include myself in this folly).

Lloris is a top keeper – actually wait, he’s a top SHOTSTOPPER!

As he did for Lyon in the Champions League, he did for France in the World Cup. He proved himself to be a more than ample shotstopper but once those crosses started coming in he would flap at them like a mad man, remind you of anyone?

What is the point in replacing Almunia with someone who isn’t any better at crosses (watch the 1st South African goal from yesterday) but who may be a slightly better shot stopper? The EPL is made up with a lot of teams who will throw a tall player up front and either play route one football or spread it to the wings to try and get crosses on to the head of their target man. Hence, we need someone confident under high balls. Lloris, in my opinion, isn’t that man.

He is young and I’m sure he will improve in the next few seasons but I think we have all agreed we don’t have time to wait. We need a strong, stable keeper now.

Watching Lloris makes me appreciate how hard it must be for Le Boss and the scouts to try and find a top player especially a keeper. But the joys of it is that I can moan and bitch about it while watching those youtube clips and saying we should have signed Lloris already – seeing the shiny parts of his game while ignoring the major flaws. Meanwhile the gaffer and his boys have to face the brunt of it if he spends £10mil on someone and it doesn’t work out. Ah well, that’s what he gets paid £5million a year for – c’mon boss make it happen, get us a superman ‘keeper.

South Africa 2010 Will Not Be The Send Off OUR Thierry Henry Deserves

June 12, 2010


Ahhhhhhhh I’ve just wanted to say that for some weeks. What a proper pain in the arse they are – first they buy Overmars, Petit, then Henry, then the ice-cream man and now they want Cesc. Stop trying to be us!!

Cesc should know better than want off to Spain – okay you might win a medal or two but your personal career could slump, just ask Hleb or indeed Thierry Henry.

We are all upset that Titi decided to up ship and move to Barcelona in 2007, he should have been Bergkamp MKII, the guy who ended his career in North London. Henry moved on for a meager amount but honestly you know it and I know it, he was never the same Henry.

Rumours abound that Henry failed his medical at Barcelona but they signed him regardless albeit for a far lower price for a player who had been the best in the world (although never recognized) for the previous couple of seasons. Just as when PV04 left, Wenger knew parts of Henry’s body was broken – we had got his best years.

Never at Barcelona have we really seen the Henry that electrified Highbury, the EPL, Europe, the world. The sad thing is, Henry may well not get the send off he deserves either – his career has seemed to just peter out, fading away to be replaced by memories.

Henry’s problem comes in the way he plays the game. Bergkamp, Cantona, Zidane could all go out on a high because their bodies let them. Their game was based on being five seconds ahead of everyone else – Henry’s is based on GETTING THERE five seconds ahead of everyone else. So while Bergkamp could play the game in his head, Henry had to play it with his body and now his body is broken.

Sadly, Henry knows this better than anyone else. Why else would he feel the need to handle the ball twice against Ireland in the World Cup qualifier? The REAL Henry would have stretched out those never ending legs of his, nipped the ball back into his body and stuck it into the net. But not this time, this time he couldn’t – he had to cheat to help his country.

Now, this isn’t a whine. Yes, I’m still upset that the Rep.Ireland lost out but my anger is not aimed at Henry (though it was at the time) my anger is aimed at the idiot that calls himself the French manager and the muppets at FIFA and UEFA who chose to overlook what Henry did saying they couldn’t challenge the referee’s decision – funny how they felt differently when it came to Eduardo’s “dive” against Celtic isn’t it?

What is most upsetting is not what Henry did, or who he did it against, its most upsetting that he had to do it. Besides, while it was a sly handball we all know only one man can handball in a match and I’m going to leave it to my man Kanye West to say it best:


So now its World Cup time and it could be a ignominious end for the great man. Commentators and critics won’t let him forget the handball. The Captain’s armband has gone to the ever unlikable Patrice Evra while Henry has been dropped to the bench in favour of Nicholas Anelka.

France have a good side, a side capable of beating anyone on their day – but they have a dreadful excuse for a manager who I once heard couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag. They might get through their group but despite it being easy on paper I’d not be so sure.

Nasri is already sure of a long summer while Diaby, Sagna, Clichy and Gallas could have an extended one too. Its said that Henry is off to New York after the tournament – his sitting on the bench while Jeffran came on against Inter Milan suggests this is true – the death knell to any hopes of a good send-off.

Henry’s career might end quietly but lets make sure its always remembered. Screw the handball and screw Barcelona – lets remember and make sure the world remembers the goals against Manchester United, Spurs and Real Madrid. Lets make sure the world remembers the Henry stare after he scored a goal. Lets makes sure the world remembers that for three seasons he was the best player to grace a football field because from Arsenal fans, that’s the very least Thierry Henry deserves.

*NOTE: If you don’t get the picture check out “VMA, Kanye West, Taylor Swift” on youtube.