Get The Cheque Book Out. Now.

January 19, 2016

We desperately need another striker and we need him by January’s end. He doesn’t have to be a Higuain or a Cavani (though either would be dreamy), we just need someone to allow Giroud some time in the sun.

The injury to Welbeck is very bad news as he was signed with this very position in mind. Will he ever recover to become a reliable squad player? Who knows but what I do know is that whilst he is at AFC he distracts Mr Wenger’s focus from buying a CF. Understandably, given the 16 mill and 100k a week..

raddy

Theo as CF? Really???  A few fleeting glimpses of his aptitude to playing through the middle is not enough to suggest he is capable of taking us to the title. I would rather see a goal-hanging finisher than the fleet-footed flyer. And the man is at a low point in his playing career at Arsenal, his last few games have been dreadful – my dead Grandma could have done as well.

Sanchez is a possible but his best work for both country and AFC is done cutting in from the wings. He is not a back to goal striker (IMO).

Campbell? There is no evidence he can be a CF. As far as I know he has always played on the flanks.

Iwobi/Sanogo? No.

What happens if Giroud gets injured? I will tell you. We are royally ****ed.

So stop being a spendthrift Mr Wenger. Go out and find us a boy who has the priceless ability to score a goal. There must be someone somewhere who wants to earn a few million a year, living in one of the most exciting cities in the world, playing in a creative team in a magnificent stadium. It can’t be that hard, can it?

written by Big Raddy

 


Arsenal, Sunderland and Tony Soprano.

January 10, 2016

The FA Cup or as it should be referred to from now on: ‘Cosa Nostra’. I was having a bit of an Italio/Latin afternoon yesterday. I have no idea why but anyway did you ever notice how the Romans used to call the Mediterranean ‘Mare Nostrum’? There is a justifiable sense of ownership about it, a confident swagger as they referred to it as ‘Our Sea’. You have probably twigged where I am going with this now: ‘Cosa Nostra’, the FA Cup, Our Cup and if anyone tries to take it away from us they will have to answer to Tony Soprano, cah-peesh?

Well there was no need to bring out the heavies yesterday afternoon; it was just about as perfect as it could get really. We draw home advantage, check. We play a team whose priorities lay elsewhere, check. We are able to rest key players while some youth and fringe get important game time, check. No one gets injured and we win and progress to the next round, check, check, check.

Everyone was handed a script prior to the game and everyone knew what to do, or so we thought. Unfortunately two of our players namely Gibbs and Koscielny fluffed their lines early on and allowed Sunderland to take the lead. The problem is, when this happens there is always a nagging doubt that even though we know we have the better team, an upset could always be on the cards.

As it turned out we didn’t have to worry for too long as parity arrived in the shape of Campbell shortly after with a well crafted goal involving Iwobi and Walcott down the left flank before everyone’s favourite Costa Rican guided the ball home to make it one – one.

campbell

Wenger had chosen his team well; just enough to do the job but no unnecessary wasting of energy, only the smallest amount of extra pressure in the form of Arteta and Ramsey’s introduction was required to finish the day’s work.

Man of the Match was Bellerin who ran Sunderland ragged down the left flank; it was he who was finally able to send the ball across for Ramsey to show Walcott how to finish, the third goal gave us breathing space and that came in the form of yet another beautifully weighted pass from Bellerin which made its way all the way across the goal mouth for Giroud to tap home.

Giroud fa cup 2

Wenger had plan B, C and D on the bench, if we had just been one ahead with ten minutes to go he would have sent on Monreal for some proper defensive cover in an attempt to avoid a draw and a horrible, energy sapping return trip to Sunderland that would follow but as we were two up he was able to give Jeff his long awaited debut.

We get our new signing next week, why am I so sure? Look at the pattern. The club announce medium level signings only after Wenger has given certain players, usually youngsters, a chance to shine. In the close season it is normally after the Emirates Cup, the reason being is so as not to harm the confidence of those who might be hoping to make a particular position their own or older players wanting to re-establish themselves after injury.

In yesterday’s case Chambers was the youngster being protected and Arteta was the experienced player trying to re-established himself. Although they have now had their games, improved their confidence, had their chance to show what they can do or still do in the case of Mikel without the confidence sapping knowledge of already having met someone in the training ground who is more than likely to be taking their place in the very near future.

But, next week gentle sensitivities will be put aside and we will get someone who can do a Champions League level job in the form of El Neny, the much talked about Egyptian. By the way, with world class players the club announce them as and when they happen there is no pattern or not one that I can see.

Villa at home in the next round please?

Cech: Zen and the Art of Goalkeeping. 9

Bellerin: MOTM, most of the team were functioning at 60% output but not our Hector, 100% for him. 9

Gabriel: Perfect game for him, if it wasn’t for that Costa incident he could well have been the break through player of the season, gets better with every game really, only a question of time before he becomes first choice. 7

Koscielny: someone near to me at the game asked the question, who is Captain, I didn’t know but low and behold it was Kozzer; the guy next to me said that he expected him to make the captaincy his own. I looked at him, smiled, said nothing but knew he was wrong as it is going to Özil. 6

Gibbs: this competition thing between him and Monreal is working really well, Gibbs is rightly second choice but you can see that he does give it everything. 7

Oxlaide-Chamberlain: Did you hear the rumour that Chelsea might try and sign him if Hazard leaves? What was your reaction? Was it, oh no, you’re not having another one of ours or was it, hmmm, if he goes who could we buy? He is getting his run of games but he is still not impressing. 5

Chambers: perfectly decent job but he is not going to make Wenger think twice about buying further defensive midfield back up. 6

Iwobi: some good touches, lovely drag back in the first half, perfect game for him to take his training wheels off. 6

Campbell: getting better but with Ozil and Sanchez setting very high standards I still have my doubts. 7

Walcott: I have made so many predictions that he is going to leave to another club and have obviously been wrong every time, I have decided to change tack and predict that he will stay at Arsenal so long that he will become the next manager. 5

Giroud: perfect example of someone doing just what is needed with the least amount of effort. 8

Written by LB


An unlikely Arsenal Hero

January 6, 2016

Not even a flicker of an eyebrow was detected amongst the Arsenal faithful in January of last year, and of course I refer to the return from loan of one Francis Coquelin.

Returning from an uninspiring mere five start loan period at Charlton Athletic, this multi-functional  utility player went on to transform the Gunner’s midfield, and develop into one of the first names on our team sheet as our defensive midfield lynchpin.

An unlikely hero if ever there was one.

Could such a phenomena occur again this season, and if so, who are the unlikely candidates.

Serge Gnabry

Joel Campbell

Callum Chambers

The Egyptian

The Ox

Errrr

Ps Errr is where your thoughts and suggestions appear 🙂

Written by MickyDidIt89


Who is more likely to succeed: Oxlaide-Chamberlain or Joel Campbell?

November 2, 2015

A political hierarchy exists at Arsenal as it does at most clubs. Players with a greater potential long term value will get priority over those who may be as good but are not seen as being as big an asset in the future.

This has driven me to distraction on occasions. Many times I have thought that Walcott got picked over someone better suited, most infuriatingly during 2007/2008 season, the one in which Eduardo broke his leg. Theo was being selected for no other reason, as far as I am concerned, than the price we paid for him and his perceived future value to the club. Remember when everyone used to call out Theeeeoooo, Theeeeoooo, honestly, more often than not he was so ineffectual it was like playing with ten men. I remain convinced that Walcott’s continuous selection was the core reason we failed to win the league that season.

Being selected when better options are available also applies to Wilshere. At the beginning of last season Wilshere was being picked ahead of the outstanding Cazorla which made no sense to me. Looking ahead though, now that Santi has moved further back it is easier to see where Jack’s future lies, subject to injury, there will eventually be a straight swap. Wilshere will play deep midfield — not attacking midfield.

I digress, back to the point.

To a similar degree the same is true of Oxlaide-Chamberlain’s selection over Joel Campbell. The Ox is not obviously better but he has a far higher sell on value than Campbell does and so, in the past, has been chosen ahead of him; to be clear, I am not suggesting that the club have plans to sell OC but they wouldn’t want him to get too unhappy or he might start thinking about moving himself, this applies to an even greater extent with Ramsey who himself has been shoe horned into the right wing. Now, with Oxlaide-Chamberlain injured Wenger no longer has to inadvertently take future importance into consideration.

If you think about it, the last time we saw Campbell surrounded by decent players for a length of time was in the World Cup and he was impressive. Campbell’s goal against Swansea will do him the world of good; he should now be able to relax and give us a bit more of what we saw of him on that global platform.

As for who is most likely to succeed out of the two, I think the Ox may edge it, but Campbell could keep him out for most of this season if he continues scoring.

LB


Arsenal Peck Swans

November 1, 2015

Arsenal went to Swansea determined to keep their Premier League hopes alive, and yet filled with a certain tremulation at meeting a club who had outclassed and outplayed them twice last season.

As it turned out, one man who could not wait to get on to the pitch to show what he is made of was Joel ‘Gimme a chance ‘ Campbell, as he chomped at the bit to make his career at Arsenal lift off, rather than warm his ass on the bench.

Let us take a moment to consider the nature of the Arsenal, who are like a skilled electrician who on being called out to repair a complex machine with a fault can expertly disassemble the machine in a jiffy, and only to realise that, in a forgetful moment, he did not bring the  replacement part. Frustrating? Much!

Arsenal are undeniably capable of creating magic – and can ooze with class one moment, and in the next second carelessly give away the ball and allow the opposition the gift of an undeserved chance.

01

Not yesterday! Giro scored the 2,000th goal of Wenger’s reign, by hiding behind Mert and then launching himself by using the captains’ elasticised shirt to deftly flick the ball into the net.

The second goal was an oddity, in that Flappy should have caught a high looping ball, but somehow managed to lose it and allowed Kozzer to shield it and cleverly toe-poke it into the net, leaving Swansea howling with rage. Boo-Hoo.

02

And then our man Joel’s big moment came – a strong drive across the goal area by Özil reached him and controlling it smoothly he despatched the ball with aplomb into the net for the third, final and decisive goal.

03

Referring back to our mythical electrician above, Arsenal played well within themselves, and perhaps mindful of the results of their recent games against the Swans, who had pecked up the three points previously, sometimes played silly passes, but twisted the beaks of the home team when it mattered, and had not forgotten what they had come to do.

In truth, Gomis should have blasted the Swans ahead when receiving a clever ball from Shelvey he dithered and let Hector complete a lung bursting sprint back into defence and smack the ball from his toe into touch for a corner. Determination, skill, pace from the Arsenal lad, and quite the opposite from the Swan’s centre forward — all the difference in the world, and spoke to Arsenal’s qualities and made the result inevitable.

An important result achieved – a great game – three points – thank you very much!

Ratings:

Cech – 8

Bellerin – 7

Mert – 6

Kozzer – 8

Monreal – 7

Le Coq – 6

Cazzor – 7

Mesut – MoTM – 8

Joel – 7

Alexis – 6

Girroo – 8.

Red Arse


Campbell: Our Ugly Duckling to beat the Swans?

October 31, 2015

Swansea have a nasty habit of picking up points against our Mighty Gunners –  it is over two years since we beat them. Given the midweek difficulties it would be good to do so this afternoon.

Let’s start with our right wing. To Campbell or not to Campbell? Of course he must play. A prophetic comment written last week  on AA was from a chap wishing to see more of Joel, perhaps he put a bok on Theo and The Ox, if you did – can you please do the same for Harry Kane, Aguero and Diego Costa? 🙏

On a side issue – have you noticed that Mr Campbell has not been blessed with good looks? Poor fellow – the fairies gave him a good hit with the Ugly Stick. The man reminds me of Lon Chaney without the hunchback. Can our Ugly Duckling turn over The Swans? (OK, I admit this is a pathetic attempt to create an HC Anderson based headline!)

The alternative would be to push Bellerin in midfield and play Debuchy at RB, which is not so stupid; those shitehawks down the Seven Sisters Rd did that with Monkeyboy Bale and earned €100m out of it!

Unknown-1

The rest of the team picks itself apart from at CB where Mr Wenger has to decide whether to play BFG twice in a week or rely upon Paul Easter. Either works for me.

Looking forward to seeing Flapianski. I always felt so sorry for him after his debacle in the CL; a decent keeper whose confidence was shattered by a couple of stupid mistakes. The decision to sell him was good for both clubs and it is great that he has the possibility to screw up this afternoon. A long distance shot from Santi sending the ball squirming under the Pole’s body to laugh it’s way into the Swans net would be good.

Swansea are in a poor run of form with just one win in 6 but any team with Ayew, Gomis, Shelvey plus Montero can score goals and Williams at CB is an inspirational leader (and a man who should have been at AFC).  Shelvey is interesting; at LFC I thought the man was a comedian but now he has matured (?) he can be influential. He will enjoy playing against a team which doesn’t kick two colours out of the opposition.

Gary Monk has continued the work of Rodgers and Laudrup developing a fluent possession game building slowly through midfield and then relying upon the pace of Ayew and Montero.

If we are to win we will need another soild performance from Giroud. Swansea’s CB are quality but no better than Everton’s and against the Scousers OG had his best game for some time. A repeat today is vital.

We are in the midst of an exhausting and difficult run of games yet remain joint ToTL. This afternoon should be an interesting battle between two teams committed to entertaining football. Given the quality of our lads and the scintillating form of Sanchez, Cazorla and Ozil we should return to London with at least a point but who knows – Swansea have the Indian sign over us at the moment.

Time to change that…..

COYRRG


Kevin or Joel Campbell?

October 27, 2015

I remember seeing us play Sheffield Wednesday way back in the Days of Yore – so long ago that Arsenal fielded 10 English players!! The only Johnny Foreigner was the great Anders Limpar. We won 7-1 with goals from the Swede, Kevin Campbell, Wrightie, Smudger and The Merse.

That day I was out on the left side of the North bank, near the West stand, uncovered with yards of space around us. Standing up. Yes, we took our lives into our own hands and stood. The attendance that day was a mere 26k. Could we ever see our attendances drop to that level again?

Of course none of that has any relevance to today, except it would be great if another Campbell scored tonight.

Just a thought …. how brilliantly would Ian Wright fit into our current first 11?

So who gets a run this evening? Cech has to start as Ospina is unfit, Chambers, plus a few other fellows.

Perhaps like this:

Cech

Debuchy    BFG    Chambers     Gibbs

Flamini    Ox    Bielik

Iwobi    Walcott  Campbell

Front line is unbalanced as is the midfield and in this team it would require the Ox to take a more influential midfield role than he has played so far. The bench can be filled with first 11 players.

Why not Ozil etc? Because we should prioritise the PL. Injuries have started to hit deep in midfield, a couple more and we will be banjaxed, so why risk it? 

I guess we will know from the starting line-up how much Mr Wenger wants to win this game and how much he is making the C1C his priority. It is a cup he has yet to win.

SW beat Newcastle in the last round so are clearly no mugs.

It is many years since we played SW in the Cups and I have just remembered the games at Wembley when we played SW three times to win the Cup double. I went to all three and evidence of how dull they were is that I can only remember the Morrow/TA incident! I am hoping for more entertainment tonight.

A week ago we beat the world’s best team, tonight we play lesser opposition. AW talked of the “perfect week”, why not make it a “perfect fortnight”?

COYRRG


The (Curious?) cases of Joel Campbell, Akpom and Sanogo

June 24, 2015

Here are three relatively young players that AW rates highly…

Joel Campbell had an outstanding WC2014 and then had some decent appearances but he was never really outstanding when playing for us or when going out on loan. Clearly, he is a talented player and he is highly viewed by many. The question is – what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Akpom has got the pace and a decent eye for goal. AW rates him and he has had a good career with your youth system like Afobe. Again what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Then comes the case (maybe the most curious) of Sanogo. A touted French striker that unfortunately suffered a horrific injury early on in his career…He then recovered and joined us on a free…He has again some potential but he is clearly not ready for Arsenal yet…So what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Looking forward to your answers

Written by RC78


New Years Day

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year to all Gooners. May your 2015 be filled with joy and silverware and may your enemies be smitten by a plague of locusts followed by an eruption of boils.

Not easy playing on NYD. I am sure Adams, Parlour and the other members of the Tuesday Club would have struggled – a night on the sauce followed by a chilly trip to Southampton would have a severe test but they would have overcome both the Saints and a long night of fags and ale.

However, the Saints of Adams day are a far cry from the excellent teams of Pocchetino and Koeman, I remember a trip down to St. Mary’s as one to savour and an easy 3 points – it won’t be so this afternoon. Even without Schneiderlin and (possibly) Clyne, the Saints are formidable opponents.

I am full of admiration for Southampton. They play good football, develop players, buy in cheap but quality replacements for their sold stars and run a tight ship.

We scraped past them at the Emirates (Sanchez tap in from a Ramsey pass) and a little One-Nil to the Arsenal would be a very pleasant way to start the year.

We have selection difficulties (as ever), particularly upfront but this also gives opportunities, Campbell may start today or perhaps we will finally see the return of Theo Walcott. IMO Walcott is a vital cog in this team  – we have missed him. Thankfully the defence are all available for selection. Midfield? No Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Ozil – surely Rosicky will start or will be see the Coq/Flamini axis?

No tactics today. No in-depth study of the opposition, no look at the referee bias. Sorry about that! But I will take a little peek at their food stuffs – unsurprisingly they eat a lot of ice cream – nothing to get too excited about – but in my research I discovered one of my childhood heroes was born here. See below.

Can we win? It will be tough and we are the underdogs. Given all the injuries and lack of firepower I would take a point.

written by a worse for wear Big Raddy


Arsenal’s Top Gunner 2014-15

August 15, 2014

Only three ways to go upon arrival at my Uncle Earnests’ house.

Upstairs. Perfectly clear what his intentions are here. Might hurt, but pretty straight forward stuff. Downstairs into the basement, or what he refers to as his “private dressing room”. Yeah right. Good luck down there. Finally, sideways, down a long corridor and into his Incident Room.

The Incident Room overlooks a large expanse of Scottish sea loch, where Earnest keeps the odd lobster pot. Poachers frequent these wild and isolated open spaces. Earnest does not believe they have any “rights” whatsoever, and are themselves fair game. He had a plan, and it involved me.

My brother and I were lead to the Incident Room. We entered. Holy Crap. The enormous room had its vast French doors flung open. The aperture was filled with a large cannon retrieved from a Spanish Galleon. Ropes securing it some shrubs outside to prevent damaging recoil. Next to the beast was a brass monkey and a pyramid of 2” iron cannonballs.

Into my hands went a box of matches, and into my brothers a hideously dangerous looking mop with its head dripping in paraffin. Earnest stood safely outside with his telescope. “Ready. Light. Fire”.

I’ve been almost deaf in my left ear ever since. Anyhow, the thought of cannons makes me think of The Arsenal and Gunners.

Last season, the surprise package and Top Gunner was Aaron Ramsey. Who could emerge from the shadows during this campaign? Given injury free runs, I think the contenders are Jack, Abou, The Ox, Mesut, Ollie, Yaya, Joel and of course Sanchez.

The reason I’ve selected these boys is that I believe they could all progress to new heights. You will also notice how I have not included any defensive players. This is because they are boring, and are simply there to do a job, not entertain.

Earnest is an entertainer, but has peaked. Who at Arsenal is an entertainer that could fire us to new heights? My money is on The Ox.

Written by MickyDidIt89