What Does it Take to Win the League?

February 13, 2018

If you are averse to statistics and spread sheets then you should stop reading.

We are now 27 games into the 26th Premier League Season and to date it has only been won by 6 different teams –

Manchester United 13 – last win 2012/13

Chelsea 5 – last win 2016/17

Arsenal 3 – last win 2003/04

Manchester City 2 – last win 2013/14

Blackburn Rovers 1 – only win 1994/95

Leicester City 1 – only win 2015/16

Manchester United have been the dominant team with 13 Championships, but that dominance has now slipped and they have not won in the last 4 seasons which is the longest period without them being champions.

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2003/04 and in the last 13 seasons we have finished 2nd twice, 3rd on 4 occasions, 4th 6 times and 5th once.

Chelsea own 4 Premier League records – most games won – 30 in 2016/17, most points won – 95 in 2004/05, most goals scored – 103 in 2009/10, least goals against 15 in 2004/05.

After 27 games Arsenal have only 13 wins – the same as in 2012/13 and the least since 2008/09, we have lost 8 the same as in 2012/13 and the most since 2005/06, goals scored does not appear to be an issue, 51 being 4 above our overall PL average, goals against seems to be our Achilles heel with 36 being the second highest in our PL history. Our goals against after 27 games in the last two seasons are in 2nd and 3rd highest in our PL history.

To win the Premier League has taken an average of 2.24 points per game, goals for of 2.07 and goals against of .85. Arsenal’s average has been 1.87 points, 1.75 goals for, and .96 goals against.

After the first 27 games of 2017/18 the average for Manchester City (who look like run away champions) is 2.67 points per game, 2.93 goals for and .74 for goals against. While Arsenal’s averages are 1.67 points, 1.89 goals for and 1.33 goals against – which is a startling difference?

Manchester City is in the midst of creating a new and vastly improved set of standards for the Premier League and it shows just how high a hill we have to climb!

Is it insurmountable?

Written by GunnerN5

 

 

 


Our Cup Final.

May 8, 2016

This is a game to get the blood coursing through the veins. It is almost winner takes all and possibly our most important game of the season (huge exaggeration but you get the drift!).

If I am honest I am not optimistic. I know we won there last season, I know City have just lost an important game, I know that they have a few injuries and those who are fit are misfiring and for City this could be “After the Lord Mayor’s Show” …

But We are The Arsenal and in recent years we struggle when the pressure is really on.

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Living in Copenhagen I am often asked why the Danes are The Happiest Nation on Earth (THNOE), amongst my answers is this- Happiness is directly linked to Expectation. If I expect to be first and come second I will be disappointed whereas if I expect to finish third and finish second I am happy with my result. I expect Arsenal to lose this afternoon 😀

The game would have been even more interesting had WHU not blown up yesterday. They are playing Man Utd midweek with the winner having the chance to gain CL qualification. Sadly, their bubble has burst (:-D )

Pellegrini, whose final home game is the honour of facing The Arsenal,  has been a fine addition to the PL. Had he been a few years younger (62 y.o) I think he could have been a good successor to Mr Wenger.

Do you think that Coq-elny are a copy or as good as the MC Fernandinho midfield defensive axis? And will AW play both Coq and Elneny in order to give us more protection against the pace and strength of Aguero and Sterling/Navas? He hasn’t in recent games.

Will Cazorla get pitch time? Or Wilshire?  Will Sanchez start on the right? My guess is that we will start with  the following:

Cech

Bellerin   Paul Easter    Koscielny    Monreal

Ramsey     Elneny    Coquelin

Sanchez     Welbeck    Ozil

Mr. Wenger, please, please, pretty please, do not start with OG. I like the Big Galoomph but as an impact substitute, Welbz gives us pace and a different dimension plus he hates City.

We are reaching the point when the bench is a difficult choice, we have such squad depth when all are fit. Had all been available throughout the season we would be hailing AFC as PL Champions but the fates have not been kind.

A point would be very, very welcome but ff we lose today we always have Aston Villa to finish the season on a high and leave me with a happy summer.

Should be an exciting afternoon – especially for those in the Prawn Sandwich section.

COYRRG


The Run In.

February 16, 2016

It’s difficult but certainly not impossible, is it?

Leicester Home: Average League Position 12.71

Norwich 17
West Brom 14
Newcastle 18
SOUTHAMPTON 6
WEST HAM 7
Swansea 16
Everton 11

Leicester Away: 11.6

Watford 9
Crystal Palace 13
Sunderland 19
MAN UTD 5
CHELSEA 12

Tottenham Home: 9.83

Swansea 16
ARSENAL 3
Bournemouth 15
MAN UTD 5
West Brom 14
SOUTHAMPTON 6

Tottenham Away: 12.5

WEST HAM 7
Aston Villa 20
LIVERPOOL 8
STOKE 10
CHELSEA 12
Newcastle 18

Arsenal Home: 14.83

Swansea 16
West Brom 14
Watford 9
Crystal Palace 13
Norwich 17
Aston Villa 20

Arsenal Away: 8

MAN UTD 5
TOTTENHAM 2
EVERTON 11
WEST HAM 7
Sunderland 19
MAN CITY 4

Man City Home: 10.4

Aston Villa 20
MAN UTD 5
West Brom 14
Stoke 10
ARSENAL 3

Man City Away: 13.14

Newcastle 18
LIVERPOOL 8
Norwich 17
Bournemouth 15
CHELSEA 12
SOUTHAMPTON 6
Swansea 16

Here’s the remaining fixtures and the average positions. I’ve also highlighted what I would consider the tougher looking fixtures. Looking at the fixtures you can’t really write Leicester off. They have some very winnable games and they play once a week, so a lot of it is going to come down to how they react to today’s defeat. Spurs have probably the toughest run of fixtures and are still in EL and FA Cup, so it will be interesting to see the teams they put out in those. We have very good home fixtures but very tough away ones.

We should be looking to win 6/6 of our home matches and then if we can sneak a few away results we have a great chance. City have some tough fixtures too and are still in other comps, but they are not looking good at the moment and their home form is starting to drop which is not a good sign for them.

It’s going to be an interesting end to the season though and we are definitely in with a chance if we can keep a run going.

written by FatGingerGooner


Mesut/Theo ….. Mesut/Ollie ….. Mes-merising Arsenal

December 22, 2015

It was clear right from the off that the crowd were fully tinselled up, had taken aboard one or two extra pre-matchers, all swallowed down by a festive Crème de Menthe chaser.

Perfect scene for the final game before Christmas, featuring the Bookies’ two favourites for the title.

A bit of cat and mouse from both sides during the opening gambits, and perhaps the casual observer may have sensed a long evening ahead. Theo changed all that with an absolute cracker.

theo

Two chances, two goals, and Arsenal into the break at 2-0 following a clinical strike from Ollie. Both terrific finishes. Both created by the sublime Mesut Ozil.

ollie 2

Two behind at the 45, and City had no option but to attack throughout the second half, ensuring a pulsating game. City began with three strikers. This didn’t work, so they tried three other strikers, but it was Toure with a magical strike that proved the old adage.
Errr, what is the old adage. Goals win games?

Anyhow, a few fatigued Arsenal players were replaced by fresher ones, and being 2nd XI’ers, we looked shaky, but still managed to see out a memorable victory.

A week or so ago on here, our own LB asked who, with all our injuries, may step up to be the surprising find of the season, in much the same way as we witnessed with young Francis Coquelin last term. The answer is Joel Campbell, who at no point looked out of place last night. What a terrific attitude he has. Well played, Sir.

MATCH TALKIES

• Is Theo better playing from the left?
• Are the Team more effective with Aaron or Santi alongside Coquelin/Flamini?
• When, if ever, is Paulista a better option than Per?
• The Fans were superb, and few left before the final bell. Were the trains running later than usual?
• The Title is in our own hands. Does this victory convince you we are now favourites?
• Why can’t it be Christmas every week?

MickyDidIt89


Will Arsenal make it 19 in a Row?

March 19, 2015

The race for the top four Premier League positions is on in full force. Twenty nine games played and just nine games left. Fourteen teams still have a mathematical chance of finishing in the top four but I will only concentrate on the battle involving the top seven.

Chelsea still appears to be Championship favourites although their form has dipped of late and as it’s dipped their tactics have become even cruder. So far this season their only slip ups against non top seven teams were draws with Burnley and Sunderland and a loss to Newcastle. They only have three remaining games against the top seven – United and Liverpool at home and Arsenal away. I fully expect them to play ultra defensive football, hoping for a breakaway goal but happily settling for a point in each of the three games, while winning all of their remaining games against the non top seven teams.

However they have only managed to gain 19 out of 30 points in their last 10 PL games so my prediction may be overly optimistic.

My predictions are –

Hull – away win, Stoke – home win, QPR – away win, Man U – home draw

Arsenal – away draw, Leicester – away win, Crystal P – home win

Liverpool – home draw, WBA – away win, Sunderland – home win

Last 10 games DLWWDWWDWD (Pts % 63.3)

Current points 64

Projected points 88

Manchester City is difficult to predict as their form is inconsistent at best and erratic at worst, which was highlighted by their loss to Burnley. Against the non top seven teams they have drawn with QPR, Burnley, Everton, and Hull and lost to Stoke, West Ham and Burnley. Against the top seven they have already dropped 12 points.

City has only managed to win just 50% of the points in their last 10 games so they will have to turn things around to hold on to second place.

My predictions are –

WBA – home win, Crystal P – away win, Man U – away win, West Ham – home win

Aston Villa – home win, Tottenham – away draw, QPR – home win

Swansea – away draw, Southampton – home win

Last 10 games WDLDDWWLWL (Pts % 50.0)

Current points 58

Projected points 81

Manchester United have really ridden their luck this season by winning games that they should have lost but they are now heading into a run of very difficult games. After their loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup ended their hopes of any trophy’s this season their consequent win against Tottenham will be a boost to their confidence.

My predictions are –

Liverpool – away draw, Aston Villa – home win, Man City – home loss

Chelsea – away draw, Everton – away win, WBA – home win

Crystal P – away win, Arsenal – home draw, Hull – away win

Last 10 games DLWWDWLWWW (Pts % 66.7)

Current points 56

Projected points 74

Liverpool is showing some impressive form and is undefeated in their last 13 PL games.

I only see Pool dropping points against Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea. In their last game against Swansea they rode their luck but in the end they won the game on a very fortunate deflection. I see them as legitimate contenders for a PL place.

My predictions are –

Man U – home draw, Arsenal – away draw, Newcastle – home win

Hull – away win, WBA – away win, QPR – home win

Chelsea – away draw, Crystal P – home win, Stoke – away win

Last 10 games WWWDWWWWW (Pts % 86.7)

Current points 54

Projected points 75

Tottenham have beaten both Arsenal and Chelsea in their last 10 games but have also lost to Man U and Liverpool so they are very unpredictable, in their  0-3 loss at Old Trafford they did not look like a team capable of finishing in the top four.

Our shadow over the North London midgets is getting bigger and darker by the year.

My predictions are –

Leicester – home win, Burnley – away win, Villa – home win

Newcastle – away win, Southampton – away draw

Man C – home draw, Stoke – away draw, Hull – home win

Everton – away draw

Last 10 games WLWWWLDWWL (Pts % 63.3)

Current points 50

Projected points 69

Southampton seems to have run out of steam and have dropped 13 points in their last 10 games. In their last game they gained a point at Stamford Bridge and looked good in the process. I only see them losing to Man C in their final 9 games but I cannot see them making the top four.

My predictions are –

Burnley – home win, Everton away draw, Hull – home win

Stoke – away draw, Tottenham – home draw, Sunderland – away win

Leicester – away win, Villa – home win, Man C – away loss

Last 10 games WWWLWDLLWD (Pts % 56.7)

Current points 50

Projected points 68

Arsenal has won eight of the last 10 PL games and our only losses were to Tottenham and Southampton. During this period only Liverpool gained more points winning 26 while we won 24. I cannot remember the last time our squad looked so strong with only 9 games left in the season.

Our key players are close to their top form with Cazorla, Ozil and Alexis just oozing class. Ramsey and Walcott still have a way to go but it’s great to see them both fit again – they will be needed. Ospina has been very steady in goal and shows a lot of confidence, which spreads to the team.  Coquelin has added some steel and tenacity to our midfield while Giroud proved his worth with his performances against West Ham and Monaco. My main concern is with our full back positions, we always seem to be exposed down the flanks – when they make their forays downfield our center backs are drawn out of position while they are covering for the absentee’s.

My predictions are –

Newcastle – away win, Liverpool – home draw, Burnley – away win

Sunderland – home win, Chelsea – home draw, Hull – away win

Swansea – home win, Man U – away draw, WBA – home win

Last 10 games LWWWLWWWWW (Pts % 80.0)

Current points 57

Projected points 78

The season will hinge on the following 10 games and will most likely be decided based on the outcome of the first seven of them.  To be honest they are the type of games that should decide the championship – the best against the best – I await them with nervous anticipation.

 Arsenal v Liverpool

Arsenal v Chelsea

Man U v Arsenal

Chelsea v Man U

Chelsea v Liverpool

Liverpool v Man U

Man U v Man C

Spurs v Man C

Man C v Saints

Spurs v Saints

I firmly believe that we are up for the task – how about you?

To arrive at my final conclusions I’ve predicted the outcome of 54 games so I’m bound to be wrong but how wrong do you think I am?

19th march

GunnerN5


The Champions come to Town

September 13, 2014

Super fixture this afternoon. Last season’s Champions come to the home of this season’s.

Added to that we have the chance to assess how our new signings are bedding into the team, plus the possibility of a sighting of our shiny new Centre Forward. But first let’s look at the opposition.

Manchester City deservedly won the title last season- they had the most expensive team, the best dressed manager and outside of The Arsenal possibly the best kit. City are a club that (from the outside) appear to be well run within strict guidelines,; unlike the Southern Oilers they have class and this is why so many were happy to see the Chavs and Liverpool fall away as City relentlessly won the points at season’s end – at least that is my impression sitting here isolated in my tepee.

Having once again, bought one of our stalwarts, they should by rights be detested by all Gooners yet surprisingly they are not. Nasri, Toure, Adebayor ,Gael Clichy, and now Bacary, who will be next?  I don’t blame these traitors – they have won silverware and have at least doubled their weekly wage packet. Hopefully, Sagna will not get booed today, he gave many great years to AFC and we have now signed a better and younger player. My main sadness with his departure is the loss of chas’s pics of Mrs Sagna 😢

City come with injury problems – Fernando (do they sing “there was something in the air that night, the stars were bright… ?) and Jovetic but if any team can cope with injuries it is  City. Can you imagine allowing a goal machine like Negredo to leave on a loan? Poor old City, forced to play Dzeko and Aguero upfront and Fernandinho in the middle.

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Both teams have yet to hit their straps, Yaya looks a shadow of the fearsome competitor we are used to seeing, the defence is vulnerable as Kompany struggles for form and the ageing Dimichelis continues  arouse suspicions that he has some saucy information about Pellegrini (why else is he picked?)

I could write extensively about City and their individual players but thankfully for you time and length of post restrict, so let’s get onto what really interests us

The Arsenal:  Big question first. Whether to Welbeck? I believe Danny will have such a stellar career that “to Welbeck” will become a verb much used in the coming years meaning to excel and to overcome any opposition with style and brio. But is he ready after less than a week on the training ground? Given the alternative of Sanogo I say a massive Yes but would not be surprised to see him enter the fray in the 70th minute.

images

As everyone returns to fitness the choices available to Mr Wenger becoming mind numbingly difficult. Flamini or Arteta? Santi, Mesut, Jack and Aaron or drop one or two? 4-4-3 , 4-1-4-1, 3-5-3 or another combo? Gibbs or Monreal? I do not even know how I would pick the bench let alone the team!

Here is my stab at it …..

Manc 2014

which means leaving out Cazorla and the Ox. I have written before about how I cannot see how we work with both Cazorla and Ozil vying for the central space and think if we are to get the best from Mesut then he has to play there. I know he plays out wide for Germany but we do not have the quality of players of the World Champions.

And what of Podolski? When does the excellent fellow get a run in the first team? Is he to be relegated to the Carling Cup team? Why not sell him having secured Welbeck or was it purely a question of timing and he will go in January?

Chamberlain is much to good to be used purely as an impact sub but I cannot see how he fits into this team. If anyone does can you write a post about it because it is a subject which requires more than a couple of sentences?

We are unbeaten at The Emirates since Ozil arrived (can that be correct?). We have signed real quality in the summer. We have tremendous strength on the bench. We have determination, unbelievable belief, strength of character and a developing team ethic.

What can go wrong?

written by Big Raddy


27 and Counting: Man City preview

January 13, 2013

My initial thoughts about today’s game revolve about whether previous season’s games have any relevance to results. It is 27 games since Man City beat us at home – , can this really influence the match? Of course not, though it does give cause for optimism in a weird way for a supporter looking for comfort.

We like City fans (hopefully a couple will join us today) they combine humour with passion, and they really get behind their club. How would we respond if unlimited funds were poured into our club? Would  we despair and wish for “the old Arsenal back?” I think not  – to be able to have a choice of strike force of Balotelli, Tevez, Dzeko, Aguerro and Tevez must give enormous pleasure, and that is without the genius of Silva and Toure. Plus they happen to be the Champions which is fine by me – if it isn’t us let it be MC; better than the Chavs or the Surrey Reds.

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Don’t leave it so late this time, Mikel

But before I’m overcome by the wonder of City I should recall that we almost beat them in the away leg and did beat them at the Emirates last season. And we are on a long unbeaten run.

I expect a tight game today but City have some absentees (if only we had such a squad!). The Pine Rider is suspended following his pathetic assault  the other week, Toure is at the ACN, Richards, Maicon and Rodwell are injured but MC will still put out a €200m+ team.

For those with a statistical bent this is very interesting …

http://www.london24.com/sport/arsenal/arsenal_v_manchester_city_in_numbers_1_1790584

I have checked a few MC websites and almost to a man they swallow the AW out narrative. Sad but inevitable, especially when some of our own do the same. They are very confident of a win citing our inconsistency and in particular, last week’s away draw.

And what of our form? Questionable is my estimate. We should have won every game in December, instead we dropped relatively easy points – though S’ton’s improved form shows it was not such a disaster.

We have to sort out the midfield – not the personnel but the tactics; asking Arteta to play the defensive screen is not working particularly well, and Podolski looks far better playing further forward . Lukas was poor at St Mary’s – we need more from him.

My Team:

arse v city

I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Ox in place of OG and TW playing centrally but this smacks of negativity. We are at home, OG causes defences problems, Theo is better out wide.

I am looking forward to the Dzeko/BfG match-up. Two fine players.

Onto today’s explorer: Enough of the ice-boys, let’s get horticultural. One of our greatest unsung collectors and explorers came from the sunny climes of Cornwall: William Lobb (1809 – 1864).

Lobb spent his life collecting in South and North America walking thousands of miles through jungle, desert and mountains. His collection of seeds changed the face of the British (and European) countryside we see today. Lobb brought back: The Monkey Puzzle tree, The Wellington Sequioa, Delphiniums, the Douglas Fir  (plus lots of other fir and pine trees), countless flowers, the myrtle tree, some cedars and the barberis shrub.. He died in San Francisco from syphilis (hey, it happens!!).

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Mr Lobb. Ozzy Ardilles Dad??

Today’s game has been written up as vital. Perhaps, but given our inconsistency who is to say that after beating the Champions we will not drop points to QPR? My point being that all the games are “vital” – they all offer the same number of points and let’s be brutally honest, how many of you expect us to challenge Man City for the title?

My hope is for an attacking, entertaining game and one in which we “play with the hand break off,” Oh, and no injuries or red cards and a loony (goal-less) cameo from the wonderful Balotelli.

Written by Big Raddy


City Park the Bus

January 6, 2011

After enduring the previous home league game against the Middle Eastlands crowd from the comfort of the North Bank I anticipated something slightly different this time around. Surely the array of attacking talent that Citeh had been remorselessly acquiring would mean they would not play like a lot of away teams and sit back for a draw from the outset ?

Bereft of two of their more creative additions, gooners must have feared the worse and sadly a defensive approach was favoured with a midfield of De Jong, Y Toure, Barry and Milner with the latter (to my eyes) yet to justify the reputation/hype he had gathered before he joined Citeh.

Having said all that we are well used to “Park the bus” teams and despite the 13 shots(8 on target) we had as opposed to 5 from Citeh, none of which were on target, the onus is on the home team to break down whatever form of defence is presented to us. Mancini was seen ushering his players back whenever they strayed too far forward, showing an approach typical of a Serie A manger who favoured “catenaccio” as his preferred system.

Yes, we hit the post on numerous occasions and the frustrations of a game similar to the CSKA game at the Grove a few seasons back surfaced however perhaps something radically different may have been called for in the last 15 minutes or so – perhaps throw a defender(Djourou maybe?) forward and bombard the Citeh penalty area with shots/crosses? Un-Arsenal like maybe, however it may be because it felt like a goal was imminent, especially in the first half, that it was right to persist with the initial strategy.

Sagna’s late sending off was perplexing. He showed as little composure when being slide tackled by Zabaleta as he did plenty of cool during the Bowyer assaults on him in the previous game at St Andrew’s – he was due a break but it would have preferably been at our choosing, so he misses the next two Cup games and away to West Ham in the league.

Looking back with the benefit of other results perhaps not risking all for a win, meant avoiding defeat against a title rival was worth it with the spuds and The (London)Chavs coming a cropper on their travels.

Sadly the undeserving recipient of the benefits of last night’s results would have raised yet another (not so) wee dram of his finest single malt and smiled all over his whiskey-sodden face.

Written by charybdis1966

Some player ratings courtesy of Big Raddy………

Fabianski. Had nothing to do and did it perfectly. 10
Sagna Crossing poor and a point deducted for the red card 6
Djourou Fine display, covering any defensive mistakes 8
Koscielny Not much to do. Out of position a few times 7
Clichy Good defensively but crossing poor 7.5
Song Bossed the midfield and has sublime skills 9
Cesc Great 1st half. Faded as MC sat deeper 8
JW Same as Fab4. What a prospect 8
Nasri Just couldn’t get in the game. His battle with Richards was great 7
Theo Very involved but kept choosing the wrong option. Needs to try shooting at the near post. 6
RvP Unlucky not to score. A busy night. He is getting there … 8

AA Hardly the impact sub we were hoping for. Must try harder 5
Bendtner Tried harder than Arshavin 6

 


Stand Up if you hate Mark Hughes

December 4, 2010

Two certainties this afternoon. Firstly, that Sparky will be telling his midfield to “let them know you’re there” and secondly, that Mark Schwarzer will have an outstanding game. In my opinion, it is upon these two personalities the game will hinge.

Hughes is man under pressure, having seen his team fall to one point above the relegation zone. However they are the draw Kings of the PL having won none of their away fixtures but drawing 5 out of 7.  In fact Fulham have only won twice this season and I remain sure they will not add that that tally today. Fulham have a nasty injury list, longer than ours (for once) and Bobby Zamora’s broken leg has seriously blunted their attacking threat.


This being a purely personal pre-match and not representing the ethos of the site, I can give vent to my dislike of Mark Hughes. He was a spiteful, dirty player who specialised in kicking the ankle tendons of the opposition and feigning innocence when challenged. He was all I hate in Man Utd (and then Barca where he sank ignominiously). A quiet assassin whose pretence of being a fair and honest player was pure sham. Then into management and  you will not be surprised to learn that his Blackburn team finished bottom of the Fairplay league the 4 seasons he stayed. Upon moving to Man City he proceeded to freely spend the Arab money – €25m for the totally erratic and troublesome Adebayor was great business for us, and the €32m he wasted on Robinho was another example of his poor purchases. At the same time he bought Ben-Haim, Kompany, De Jong, Bellamy and Barry to make sure the team had a violent edge to it. He had 2 wins from 11 before being sacked and has continued his good form with Fulham who have now won 2 out of 15. The man gets paid millions for results like that –  he must have the best interview technique and agent!!

And then there is Schwarzer. Hughes has openly stated that Mr.Wenger was trying to sign him right up to the point Schwarzer signed his contract this week. I do not blame Hughes for wanting to hold onto his player, and it is to the Aussies credit that he was not bitter about being held back from achieving his ambition to play CL football. What I don’t like is the glee with which Hughes thwarted both AW and his goalkeeper, it was the actions of a small, petty man.

Which brings us onto his spat with our beloved Captain. Hughes took umbrage at Cesc’s assertions that Blackburn’s football ethos had nothing whatsoever to do with what Sparky learned at Barca. Then he went public – not something that did him any good at all, after all everyone who saw the game had to agree with Cesc. Hughes demanded respect from Cesc who apologised (under pressure from AW), but if Hughes wants respect then he has to earn it – fans, players, and managers respect people who adhere to the traditions and artistry of the game, not a man who sends out teams with instructions to kick the lunch out of the opposition (apart from a few notable exceptions Fat Sam, Pulis etc)

Enough of my rant ….. onto the Arsenal.

Can we continue to scrape wins or will Fulham get the draw they will come for? If Fulham score first (and with our leaky defence it is a reasonable assumption), we could be in for a long, frustrating afternoon. But our midfield sans Cesc looked great at Villa and with AA and Chamakh on form, we have lots of firepower.

My team:

Bench. Chesney, JD, Gibbs, RvP, Theo, Denilson, NB

I see this game being a classic attack v defence, with many Arsenal attacks floundering on the head and feet of Hangelaand and Aaron Hughes, and Schwarzer desperate to show us what we missed. But we are on the verge of something special with this Arsenal team. Fewer and fewer people believe me but a poor half against S***s doesn’t preclude us from winning the League, and as we have already seen all the top sides have lost points to inferior opposition – let us hope today is not another example.

COYRRG

p.s. Sorry about the rant 😉


Sheikh, Rattled and Rolled

October 25, 2010

Written by kelsey

By now you will have most probably read several reports about the game at Eastlands, and those lucky enough to have witnessed it will now have a broad grin on their faces.

The general consensus of opinion beforehand was that a draw would have been a good result, but with United winning, the nerves were on edge and many thought could we turn up and possibly bag three points. With Wilshere suspended, Diaby was dropped and Sagna regained his rightful place at right back and Denilson came in to bolster the midfield.

The game kicked off and within a minute Tevez tricked Djourou into a mistimed challenge and passed to the talented Silva who flicked the ball goal bound and the much maligned Fabianski made a tremendous save. To me that was even at this early stage the turning point of the game.

Within a further 4 minutes Boyata fouled Chamakh and there was no hesitation from Mark Clattenburg to issue a red card. Refs come in for a lot of criticism but he had an exceptional game and got almost every decision right, a rarity these days.

So it was ten against eleven and City were primarily defensively minded. I am one who believed that the one man advantage didn’t benefit us greatly until the final 15 minutes when City were run ragged.

Arshavin gets a lot of stick, but yet again his assist for Nasri was sublime. A second goal was needed,and when Fabregas was brought down,we thought 2-0 but Hart made a magnificent save. The first half had been feisty, with 4 of our players booked and many thought at half time we would finish playing ten again ten. Wenger must have given explicit instructions at half time, and as the game fanned out, the team grew in confidence and we added two further goals.

I have to say that I haven’t seen a keeper look as assured as Fabianski for many a game. Hopefully his confidence will be sky high and he will remain as our number one. Cesc got man of the match but to me Fabianski and the highly skillful Nasri were just as good. Overall a really good team performance and if one was to critisize anyone it would be Clichy and the ring rusty Djourou.

It was good to see a real team that has been built with integrity and patience triumph instead of a cash rich hastily manufactured side who spent a further 100 million this summer and had 100 million pounds of talent sitting on the bench – a message of hope to all well run teams who aspire to compete with the billionnaires.