Were we wrong about Chamakh?

October 26, 2013

We had a brief conversation mid-week about whether it was good or bad to face a manager-less team. I don’t like it. Even when playing what is surely relegation fodder.

Our recent loss appears not to have damaged the confidence both on and off the pitch which considering the state of the club in January is a remarkable turn around. We fans and thankfully the media seem to be less knee-jerk in our reactions and open to a more rational approach, however, and this should be written in bold, lose today and the knives will re-appear quicker than our troll changes monicker.

What of Crystal Palace.? Well, the wouldn’t pay for Big Nick but very handily took Chamakh off our hands. This tells all we needed to know about Holloway’s strategy to taking CP into the Premiership – Scattergun signings and a huge dollop of hope. It could have worked out, Chamakh could have struck the form we saw in his first games at the Em’s. Sadly, the reality is that all the hope has gone west and Palace are struggling, having beaten just bottom placed Sunderland  and languishing firmly in the bottom 3. The 1-4 defeat to a poor Fulham side on Monday signalled the end for the likeable Holloway and whoever takes up the reins inherits a poisoned chalice.

I liked Chamakh and understood why Mr Wenger signed him but the man had the same problem as Gervinho – an inability to cope with the pressures of playing in front of 60+k expectant fans. Let us wish him well and trust that he gets his career back on track, starting tomorrow.


Can they win today and beat the team sitting comfortably at the top of the table 😀 ?

Let’s look at the stats: Arsenal haven’t lost at Selhurst Park since 1979! We have won 12 of our last 13 away fixtures. We have only lost twice to Palace  – ever. But as we all know, there is many a slip twixt cup and lip, over-confidence would be costly.

Arsenal:  One of the question marks from Tuesday night was what happened to Özil? It was good to read that he was ill before the game and this reflected upon his play. Should he play today or be rested ahead of our testing games ahead? Given Wilshere’s troublesome ankle and the return of Flamini, I expect to see Mesut start particularly as the partnership with Santi needs pick-time. This axis alongside Ramsey will be the future of Arsenal and propel us to glory – it just needs time.

We miss Theo. Young Didit proclaimed that Walcott getting injured would be disastrous for Arsenal, it hasn’t been as painful as he thought but we miss the speedster. I am a big admirer of Walcott and think we will hit even loftier heights of play when he returns. His speed of foot and Özil’s speed of thought are made for each other. But he remains on the injury list.

In a way the injuries make Mr Wenger’s choices easier, the main question mark is whether Rosicky or Cazorla starts on the left? And whether Sagna needs a break. Given the CC game midweek I would continue with the first choice 11.

My Team:

pal v arse

The bench gets stronger and I expect all will get a run out on Tuesday.

If Arsenal are going to be serious contenders for the title then this is a must win game.  I like Palace, without their scouting network one of my footballing heroes would never have had the opportunity to excel, I speak of course of Ian Wright Wright Wright who whenever I think of his time at HIghbury lights my day.  On the flip side let us not forget Palace also sold us Eddie Mcgoldrick ….. need I say more?


Early kick-off and I expect us to be 5 points ahead of the pack at the final whistle, but am not taking anything for granted.


written by Big Raddy


How was it for you?

October 31, 2012

How much fun was that game last night? Not the first 35 minutes obviously but by the end of 120 minutes I couldn’t actually remember how I felt when Reading’s 4th goal had hit the back of the net.

Aaaarrrrrggggghhhh that was how I felt and it’s also how I feel now because my whole match report has disappeared into the ether 😦

What to say quickly so that you can all carry on chatting? Bullet points it is then …………….

How can we concede 5 goals?

What an amazing come-back, although we do like to do that in this cup competition. Why isn’t that desire there for some PL games?

Theo Walcott – what an absolute star he was last night, I shall be very upset to see him in another shirt. He’s dangerous, so dangerous.

Olivier Giroud – looked comfortable last night as an Arsenal player. The difference between him and Chamakh is that he fills the space that he stands in whereas Chamakh always looks like he wants to be invisible.

Arshavin is going to need a month to recover from last night, he worked so hard, I can’t believe he played the whole 90 minutes, he must have been exhausted even before Miguel had to go off injured and from then he had no chance of being subbed.

Well done again to the away supporters who were magnificent.

Bringing on Giroud and Eisfeld were important substitutions.

Hahaha to McDermott for bringing on a sub in injury time only for time to be added on for us to score the equaliser.

Any number of players could have scored any number of goals once we got started but why wait until you’re four down to up your game?

It was fantastic, a real roller-coaster of a game and we’re in the next round phew.  If anyone wants to write some player ratings we can add them on.


Arsenal Lifeline for Chamakh?

July 23, 2012

It’s no secret that “transfers out” remain as much a priority for Arsenal this summer as “transfers in”.

Leaving aside the likely departure of Brave Sir Robin, Arsène Wenger has stated that any more arrivals are contingent on selling players who are surplus to requirements or who want out.

The players in the Out Tray include some or all of Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner, Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci, Johann Djourou, Lukasz Fabianski and Ju-Young Park.

If you can detect the sound of creaking when you read that list, it’s because those players are often referred to in the Arsenal online community as “Dead Wood.”

The conventional wisdom is that they all failed to reach the standard required for Arsenal. Some (like the defender we so optimistically christened “the Squid”) through not appearing to have sufficient ability, others (like the Walt Disney character known as Little Andrey) through lack of application.

Most fans would probably be happy if all were shipped out in the next few weeks, especially if there is a decent few million quid coming back in the opposite direction.

But hold on just a moment.

Lest we throw out any babies with the bathwater (a particular risk for the tiny Russian, it must be said) maybe it’s time to take one last look at those players we are so eager to discard.

Could any of them still contribute to the Arsenal cause?

In the Poll below I would like you to vote for the player (or players) whom you feel could have a chance of going on to have a successful career at Arsenal. But first let’s take a look at the individuals concerned:

Marouane Chamakh

Our carefully coiffured Moroccan is one player who, to my mind at least, has not been treated fairly since moving to the Hallowed Land of N5, either by Arsène or the fans. In his first season, while van Persie was still injured, he showed himself to be a very capable front man, holding up the ball well and scoring goals. When the Dutchman returned, Chamakh got very few opportunities and was never able to find his groove again. The reason I feel Arsène was unfair to him is that, although we may have acquired him as a Plan B, we hardly ever played to his strengths. Ironically, in a team without van Persie and with a more direct approach to attacking (as the arrivals of Podolski and Giroud seem to indicate), the Chamster might just come good again.

Nicklas Bendtner

I will always have a soft spot for Nicki B. He is a ludicrous character, with an ego the size of Denmark and as much self knowledge as a Satsuma. But he can score goals and got some vital ones for Arsenal over the years. He has never had the class to be an Henry or a van Persie, but as a back-up striker who is used to the Premier League… could he still have a future?

Andrey Arshavin

Remember that winning finish against Barcelona? Remember the four goals away at Anfield? What about the superb cross for Thierry Henry’s winning goal up at Sunderland earlier this year? There’s no question that Arshavin has class, but he also often appeared lazy and uninterested. Mind you, he has spent his entire time at Arsenal playing out of position. He’s not a wide left attacker – he is a classic “creative”, someone who sits in the hole behind the front striker. Arsène is said to be scouring world football right now for a creative attacking midfielder. Maybe he already has one…

Sebastien Squillaci

Poor Sebastien. He arrived at the club two seasons ago as, you would imagine, a third or fourth choice CB. Almost immediately Thomas Vermaelen got an arrow in his Achilles and was out for an entire year and our other defenders were so injury blighted they might have been Irish potatoes. The Squid actually played some very decent games for us, but coming in and out of the team, always with different defensive line-ups, meant that he soon started to cop the supporters’ wrath for bad results. His time may well be up, but he is a better player than many seem to think he is.

Johann Djourou

The Big Swiss may be the least deserving of a place in this selection, as there is little evidence that Arsene has any intention of selling him. However, his name regularly appears in the fans’ hit lists of defunct timber. His Arsenal life has been badly hit by injuries and he proved last season that whatever his merits as a CB, he certainly ain’t no right back. But, he has also looked very, very good when he gets a proper run alongside one of the senior CBs. At the very least he has a strong case to be considered an excellent fourth choice CB.

Lukasz Fabianksi

I suspect many Gooners would be happy to keep our only remaining Fab as back-up to Szczesny. The problem appears to be that the older of our two Poles-in-goal wants regular first team football. His error-strewn past means he will never get the top job at The Grove (despite Szczesny’s best efforts to out-Fabianski him). But would you keep him if he was prepared to remain as Number Two?

Ju-Young Park

Er… yes… ahem… Anyone got any ideas what he’s like?

Now – time to get voting – and remember, you can vote for more than one player.