“Donny” come to The Emirates

September 20, 2017

The Rovers were formed in 1879, 138 years ago and turned professional in 1885, they have spent most of their years bouncing about in the lower leagues of English football and currently play in League 1 after gaining promotion from League 2 in 2016/17. Their ground is the Keepmoat Stadium which has a capacity of 15,231 which interestingly is bigger than Premier League Bournemouth’s which only holds only 11,360.

They along with Stockport County hold the record of playing in the longest ever competitive game while playing in Division 3. The match was tied after 90 minutes and remained tied after extra time, the rule at the time was that the game would carry on until one team scored but after 203 minutes the game was still tied so the decision was made to stop the game and have a replay which Doncaster went on to win 4-0.

They won their first major honour when they beat Bristol Rovers after extra time to win the Football League Trophy.

We’ve only played Doncaster 8 times in our history; our first game was on November 30th 1901 when we played in the 2nd division.

The last game was on Dec 21, 2005 in the League Cup, the game was tied 1-1 at full time and Doncaster went ahead 2-1 in the 104 minute and it was not until the 121st minute that Gilberto Silva scored the equaliser – we went on to win via penalty kicks.

Our team that day was:

Alumnia, Cygan, Senderos, Eboue, Djourou, Silva, Hleb, Song, Van Persie, Abeyie and Lupoli.

My Team…

Our full record:

The only time we lost to Doncaster was in 1905, 112 years ago and they have only scored 3 goals against us – so it would take a very brave person to place money on Arsenal losing this game; being a coward I forecast a big win for our kids.

Written by GunnerN5


Light Relief?

September 20, 2016

This could be a cracker.  We have some excellent squad players and Forest are an attacking team with probably the best striker who ever lived likely to start. Autumn night, small and full ground, the away boys in good voice, what more could we ask for?

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So what of our team?

Ospina has be be the gloveman, Debuchy has to start earning his corn and will be looking to show his talents in order to get a January transfer.  Holding has made a great start and will relish another start but if Gabriel is not fit who will start alongside him? Kos needs a break so it must be Mustafi. Gibbs, whom I like very much will complete the back line.

We have an embarrassment of riches in midfield, so much so that we can send an England International out on loan! Xhaka and Elneny?

Jeff will start, so will Perez and probably Ox . Could Akpom get a kick as second striker or even as our centre forward with Perez playing slightly deeper if AW decides to keep Jeff on the bench.

All will be revealed later today.

My team:

Ospina

Debuchy    Holding    Gabriel   Gibbs

Ox    Elneny    Xhaka

Perez    Akpom     Jeff

That is a quality team and yet it lacks Ramsey, BFG, Welbz, OG, Jenks, Akpom and the entire first 11! Finally we have a proper squad.

A little about Forest. They used to be good when Red Nose the First was manager but have slipped. Forest have had 10 managers in 5 years as they try to re-establish themselves in the PL. This summer they sold their best player to Leipzig for €15m – a chap called Oliver Burke – a mystery to me too!

The City Ground will be full and excited to see one of the world’s best players pull on the red and white shirt of Forest – well, he thinks he is!! Lord Nik and Henri Lansbury will be trying to show that Arsenal were wrong to sell them. I wish them well, but not too well.

An early goal for Forest could see this develop into a super match and I am delighted to say it is on Danish TV. I hope for your sakes it is on UK TV as well.

The Carling/League/Whatever Cup is a chance to have some fun. Let it be so …

COYRRG

 


Into Silicon Valley in search of Silverware

October 30, 2012

My expectations for tonight are not great. Away to PL opposition is always difficult with a reserve side, but on the other hand these are the type of games when we really see how our lads perform under pressure.

Will Reading prioritise the League Cup (or whatever it is called this season)?  Their next two PL games are QPR away and Norwich at home, both games against direct relegation rivals which will surely have an effect upon McDermott’s selections.

Reading’s last game was an exciting 3-3 draw with Fulham, scoring in the final minute through Robson-Kanu who had trials at Arsenal (no relation to the great man). The manager, Brian Mcdermott was of course a Gooner – probably still is. In ’84/5 he played 45 games under Don Howe. Sadly, George Graham didn’t appreciate his talents and he fell from grace, but he was at AFC for 7 years. McDermott recently called Arsenal Football Club “world class” which shows he is a keen and astute football man.

Another ex-Gunner is Stuart Taylor who also had 7 years at Highbury winning a league title, FA Cup and two League Cup medals – almost all from the bench (like Nasri). He may play tonight. Pogrebyak is a Russia regular and a friend of Arshavin, should he play, he will be a handful for our  CB’s.

Will Mr Wenger play any of the players returning from injury? If Gibbs is approaching fitness I would give him 45 mins to sharpen up ahead of MU. With Szczesny approaching a return it may be a last hurrah for Mannone but can AW take the risk of an injury? Of course not so Martinez will get another chance to show us why he is considered so promising.

My Team:

As you can tell I have little idea of the team. Mr Wenger has to make decisions about whether to risk any first team players in what will be a feisty game, though the above team appears too defensive and there is no real left back,

Chamakh needs to start if he is to find a club in January (assuming he hasn’t already done so). Either that or Walcott could be given his chance as central striker. Who would you pick?

Today’s top man:  Sir George Everest  (1790- 1866) . An explorer and surveyor who spent much of his life in India. Surveying was extremely important in those days  because people had no maps and no real idea of the correlation between places, and without maps people didn’t know where there were. Imagine how grateful the natives must have been when they could say “I live 42 miles North West of  Faizabad”. Couldn’t have been done without surveying and the British surveyed the world. Knighted in 1861 there is a mountain named after him.

Sir Everest in his Sunday suit

Tough game tonight but one we can win. We are sure to be solid in defence with Martinez given a chance to shine. As Reading are scoring freely and porous in defence we should see an attacking game.

It’s a Cup, we need silverware.

Written by Big Raddy


Wembley Awaiting or Despair Descending?

January 25, 2011

Who would have thought that Ipswich at home would be our most important game of the season to date? Some may say that beating Chelsea and overcoming our Big 4 hoodoo was vital but a loss tonight is unthinkable, especially for Mr. Wenger.

Ipswich were superb at Portman Rd. They deserved to win and but for a fine Chesney save could have won by more. It wasn’t that Arsenal were poor, more that Ipswich came out with a gameplan which they applied with great determination and skill, and Arsenal didn’t have the cojones to deal with them. One would have thought that our midfield would be quite used to playing against less talented but very dogged opposition, and that AW would have sent out his team fully aware of the dangers of underestimating any opponents.

I highlighted Conor Wickham before the game and he showed why he is so highly rated. I am sure that if one were to check the statistics he would have run twice the distance of Nik B and with far more effectiveness. To see him  – a 17-y-o. – closing down Eboue in the corner and then tracking his run up the pitch was an object lesson to all our players. Hard work reaps benefits.

Ipswich’s central defence was never ruffled nor were their full backs given the grilling one would expect, though to be fair to Nik B and Theo, they didn’t get any decent service from the players around them. Even Cesc had an off day. The side that took the pitch at Portman Rd should have won; it was packed with Internationals (Chesney was the only player without caps) and every player had bags of PL experience – they just didn’t gel. Arshavin and Eboue had stinkers resulting in a very narrow attacking area and no cutting edge.

The old adage “form is temporary, class is permanent” is apt for Arshavin this season. He WILL come good and looked to be determined to work his way back to form last time out. This applies to Chamakh as well, what has happened to our star striker? Can he regain his blistering early season form? Will AW play them, particularly in light of the kicking Nasri got at the weekend and Van Persie’s notorious chocolate legs?  It should be pointed out that we have Huddersfield in the Cup on Sunday and can therefore choose when to rest players.

In view of the importance of this game I would start with the A team, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see the famously stubborn AW stick to his principles of playing some members of his B squad.

 

Tonight Arsenal have to walk onto to the pitch with the correct attitude – losing is not an option.

COYRRG


Arsenal celebrate failure on the pitch ……

November 2, 2010

…but off it, the football world celebrates complete incompetence and negligence.

Following the defeat at Chelsea I decided to give myself a little time to mull things over. A chance to let the hysteria die down. Losing the last game before the international break gives everyone two weeks to dwell on the shortcomings – in our case that we’re still unable to rough it against tough tacklers, that we flatter to deceive against the Mancs and Chelsea, and that Wenger’s refusal to ‘buy big’ means we haven’t won a trophy in five seasons, obviously.

I don’t mind that criticism so much. In fact, I don’t even mind the media ignoring that we took to the field against Chelsea like Christopher Reeve – with our entire spine missing (the loss of Almunia, Vermaelen, Fabregas and van Persie hardly got a mention).

And I can just about handle Mr know-everything-about-management (despite never being a manager) Andy Gray gleaming: “You have to ask how long the Arsenal fans and players will put up with this? How long can Arsene Wenger keep persuading them this is the right way?” – while ignoring what the fans of Liverpool, Everton, Middlesboro, Newcastle, Sunderland (and all those other clubs that have spent more than us over the past five years) are currently putting up with.

I can handle all of that… just.

But what I don’t understand is the media constantly waxing lyrical about Chelsea and all they achieve.

It’s true that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for five years. And it’s true that, in that time, Chelsea won the Premier League in 2006 and last season; three FA Cups; and a League Cup.

Ignore the League Cup because it doesn’t count. Add in that Chelsea have spent more than £300m over the past five years, failed to win the league for three successive seasons between 2006-09, and still haven’t won the Champions League – and I’d suggest it’s not a great return. But you don’t hear that said in the media.

What you also don’t hear is criticism of, and this is my main point, is how Chelsea have achieved their success – and just how bad it is for football.

Chelsea’s business plan since Abramovic came in has simply been to “achieve world domination” – which doesn’t appear to be happening – and relies solely on the hope that Roman Abramovic won’t walk away.

If he does, Chelsea are dead. Chelsea say the loans given to them by Abramovic have now been turned into shares, and that the club is effectively running as a profit-making business. The truth, however, is very different.

It is true that the loans from the holding company to Chelsea FC plc were fully converted to shares. However, Abramovich’s loan to Chelsea Limited, the holding company which owns Chelsea FC plc, was not. That loan remains owing. In fact, it increased in the previous financial year because Abramovich loaned another £25m for extravagant spending and to cover the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari and his coaching team – all of which produced losses of £47m.

The result is that the accounts of Chelsea Limited (whose name was changed during the year to Fordstam Limited), show the loan to Abramovic still outstanding. The total figure owed? Wait for it… £726m. The good news for Chelsea fans is the loan is interest free. The bad news is that it is repayable if Abramovich gives 18 months’ notice.

So if the Roman gets bored; or fed up that they still can’t win the Champions League; or if they do win the Champions League and then he feels he’s achieved all he can with that toy, what will happen to Chelsea? Do you think the club will attract a buyer willing to pay off a three-quarters-of-a-billion-pound debt to take the helm? Looking at the debacle at Anfield this past couple of weeks, I would say not.

Those activities at Anfield have finally started to persuade fans that winning silver cups in the immediate future is not all football is about. Supporters are taking an interest in the long-term futures of their clubs, and seeing that the Arsenal way – while painful for half a dozen years or so on the pitch – is putting the club in good stead off the pitch for generations to come. Online discussions like this one on BBC this week are now riddled with praise for what has become known as “the Arsenal model”.

I just hope that now the fans are seeing the light, the media might follow. I suspect Andy Gray and co will just continue to focus on the one measure of success they care about – titles and trophies. Don’t get me wrong. I would love Arsenal to have won the silverware Chelsea have since 2005. But not at their price.

I know that in ten years I will still be watching my team from where I watch it now. I wonder if Chelsea fans will be watching some re-formed non-league version of their club because they wanted ten years of success but then Abramovic walked away – and took their history with him?

Written by redandwhiteviews

The author of this article has his own site redandwhiteviews.