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?


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:


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 …



Arsenal to Lose Europe’s Hottest Striker

May 21, 2014

Have a look at the table below:-(well, if I knew how to make a table there would be one!!)


Player                                  Goals             Minutes per Goal

Lionel Messi                           28                    96

Christiano Ronaldo                 28                    84

Luis Suarez                            31                    92

Sergio Aguero                        17                    81

Nicklas Bendtner                     2                     78


Conclusive proof that our Nik is one of Europe’s finest and most deadly strikers 😀


OK, that was a little joke but there is a sadness at the waste of talent as young Bendtner runs down his contract. So much talent, so little application.

When NB was coming through the Arsenal ranks there was so much hope for him; he was being taught by the best in the business in Henry, Bergkamp and later Van Persie. His first PL goal for Arsenal was a wonderful header which won the game against Spurs. He was lauded here in Denmark as the new Michael Laudrup. Denmark’s Best Sportsman at just 19, Danish Footballer of the Year at 21 – the best Danish football talent for over a decade but then it all slipped away.


Partly because of the above – he was being hailed as a major talent before he had achieved anything on the pitch and it went to his head. If you were earning 50+k a week as a teenager who wasn’t even a first team regular who knows how it would affect you?


Too Much, Too Young

His Arsenal career is ending having fizzled but never catching fire.

This season has been a massive disappointment. Pre-Season was fine, he was recovering from long-term injury and being kicked out of Juventus without even a leaving pressie. He was fit and ready. We hadn’t signed a back-up striker to OG, probably in the belief that Bendtner could finally come good – instead he royally blew his chances to the point where he hasn’t been back to Arsenal in a couple of months.

What was he doing? What demons are in his head to make him self-destruct in such a stupid and public manner? Is it booze – he certainly likes a beer? Is it fame? Surely if you grow up in the spotlight you get used to it and NB was Danish U-17 player of the year and already signed for AFC at just 16 – it is not as though he is shy in front of the camera!

Nik’s life has bee conducted under the glare of constant media scrutiny and it seems that he lives up to their very low expectations. Here he is known as the Klovn (clown) and with good cause.

But what a shame. He has so much talent – great in the air, deft touch for a big man, good first time control and a modicum of pitch intelligence. He should have been Plan B, instead he is taking a quiet walk to the exit door.

Could Arsenal have handled him better? Could someone within the club have taken him aside and told him how he was destroying his career? No-one did or perhaps he is incapable of listening.

With 24 goals from 56 International and 24 from 106 AFC appearances (mostly as sub) there will be no shortage of clubs vying for his free transfer though no-one will give him half of his current wage. Leicester or Swansea (should Bony or Michu leave) are possibles.

But Nik’s departure leaves a dissatisfaction – he should have been an Arsenal man – he has been with us for 10 years – and yet he is just a fool and when he clears out the Number 52 locker  it will be with the Tears of a Clown.

written by Big Raddy

We MUST buy a lethal striker?

April 23, 2014

Heard that before? I think we all agree there is a need but this post will investigate a little deeper.

Let’s look at the problem. We have been over-reliant on Giroud, little argument there but why have we been so reliant upon the Frenchman? Because our other strikers have been not performed this season?

Podolski: This is a chap who was a regular scorer in the Bundesliga and for his country; at Kõln his scoring rate was almost a goal ever other game (86 in 181 games), and for his country is the same (48 in 112). What is his rate at Arsenal? 28 goals in 65 appearances . Pretty consistent. What does this tell us about Lucas? In my opinion it says that he is under-rated as a goalscorer – not by Mr Wenger but by the fans. Plus Podolski has been constantly injured starting only 17 PL games this season.


Walcott: Our top scorer last season and developing into a lethal striker. 21 goals from 43 games  in 2012/13 tells it’s own story, as does 5 in 13 this. In my opinion Walcott could become one of the best forwards in Europe. He has the intelligence and the pace but most importantly he has developed grace under pressure; his finishes are no longer a foot-through- the-ball thrash, they are curlers into the far corner, awesome volleys or dinks over an onrushing keeper – he is the read deal. BUT the man is blighted by injury and not just a single re-occurring problem, shoulder, thigh, knee, foot – he has had them all. Is he unlucky or fragile? Can Arsenal rely upon his fitness when looking at the goal scoring situation?


Giroud: Not everyone’s favourite but our top cannon. His record in France was 39 goals in 85. First season for AFC, 17 in 47, this season 20 in 45. Pretty consistent and improving.At the moment he is the 7th highest scorer in the PL ahead of Dzeko, RvP, Eto’o, Lukaku, Bony and just one behind Aguero. Crap season? A cart-horse (Clydesdale of course)? Add in 10th in the PL assists and I think OG can be pleased with his work.


Sanogo: Before coming to Arsenal he had scored at almost 1 every two games  (26 from 55). He was France’s centre forward  and top scorer in their U-20 WC winning team. He has yet to score from 10 appearances for AFC. It is too early to judge but he could be the type of player who once he starts to score cannot stop. The strength, pace, energy and determination are all evident. He just needs to calm down a bit. The jury is out


Bendtner: What can one say? Best leave it 😀



Attackers out on Loan: Joel Campbell has already shown he can score at the highest level, 21 y.o 8 goals in 21 for Olympiakos and 9 in 31 for Costa Rica is impressive. 20 y.o. Chuks Aneke has a done well at Crewe scoring 16 in 40 – could they step up?

So, given what we have at the club, what do we need? A lethal finisher. But here-in lie problems. Who, how much, where does he play but most problematic of all is that most other teams are looking for the same player.

Chelsea will surely buy a frontman or two or three, Man Utd have serious problems as Welbeck is not consistent enough and RvP is 31, injury prone and unhappy. Man City will sell Dzeko, have wasted millions on Jovetic and are reliant upon Aguero – they will be in the market. So will many of the Oiler clubs around Europe as they look to attract new fans to their “brand”.

Where and how will these teams look to sign their striker? – easy -they look at the top scorers in leagues around Europe – just like we did when we bought Giroud and Podolski (and Sanogo).

As it is certain we will be outbid, both in transfer fee and wages, for the best strikers we have to look elsewhere. Young players with potential to become the next Suarez or Ronaldo, but these players are also in huge demand. Just look at the Draxler situation: The lad is just 20 and yet it seems half of Europe are trying to sígn him. It may well be that Arsenal are in the box seat but if you were him (or his agent) wouldn’t you look at the money? What about the football I hear you say – do Bayern or PSG or City play worse football than us?

What about a British striker? Who? Wellbeck? Sturridge? Lambert? There isn’t one. We just have to look at how toothless the England team is to know the cupboard is bare.

So what is the solution? In my opinion we spend the whole summer looking for the elusive striker – perhaps one will magically appear and at the same time, buy a proper young defensive midfielder who can allow our attacking MF’s to get forward and score. Had Ramsey stayed fit he would have scored as many as Toure.

In my opinion we have the goalscorers already at the club. Our problem has been keeping the guys who supply the ammunition fit. With no Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey, OG was left to fight a lone battle. With no proper DM, Podolski is forced to play deep in his own half – we have seen in recent games how lethal he can be when playing further forward.

If possible add one more, give Sanogo some time and perhaps we will be fine.


written by Big Raddy


Can I have some more, please. Cardiff again.

January 1, 2014

A long night’s partying means that the opportunity of lying supine on the couch and enjoying an afternoon’s football is very attractive, an Arsenal victory would make it doubly so. Given the condition of the man writing this post it will be short and to the point …

What stands between us and 3 points? A host of injuries, a stubborn Cardiff side and  ….. well, nothing really, we should beat a managerless team who are in disarray. We beat Cardiff just a few weeks ago with another superb display from Ramsey but little can be predicted as Cardiff will be playing a very different Arsenal.

I watched the recent Cardiff vs Sunderland game and Cardiff for most of the game were strong and well-organised; expect the same today.

A domestic dialogue from earlier this morning …..

“BR: I am really interested in seeing our B team

Mrs BR: Oh, come on Big Raddy, you know that isn’t strictly true – a B team doesn’t have BFG etc in it.

BR: You don’t understand, Ozil, Ramsey, and a host of others are crocked.

Mrs. BR: Doesn’t that give the excellent squad members a chance to shine? You may even see that little fellow Gnabry whom you speak of so often. And  I will have a chance to see my mad countryman Big Nik start a game.

BR: Exactly, doesn’t fill me with confidence. Hopefully Podolski will score a brace and Santi will return to scoring ways.

Mrs BR. See, you are already feeling more confident as our “B Team” is still made up of 11 internationals who have easily enough talent and experience to beat a team likely to be relegated.

BR: You are right as always , my Dearest.”

My Team (assuming the injury rumours are true):

arse v cardiff

The bench should be interesting!!

2013 was an excellent year in the development of this team, in particular it was a good year for Mr Wenger who once again has shown himself to be a manager of the very highest order. Hard to believe that he has worked as AFC manager for longer than all the other PL managers have managed their teams added together. We have been blessed.

It was another trophy-less year (though in any just world there would be a trophy for the  team which wins the PL in the calendar year 🙂  ) and many will say we have once again not achieved anything solid, but I beg to differ, we have seen some outstanding football, lots of goals, the founding of an excellent defence and the development of real world class talents; much is made of Ramsey’s improvement but what of Cazorla, Gibbs, Koscielny and BFG?

My personal year highlight has been sharing many hours with my friends on Arsenal Arsenal. Thank you all (except the troll)

Happy New Year

written by Big Raddy

Nicholas Bendtner and the Second Coming.

December 5, 2013

So we remain top of the league in December and still no one expects us to win it. I kind of like the fact that so many are predicting that we will fall away; it really takes the pressure off. This will change, of course, when we beat City and Chelsea in the next couple of weeks. But I am getting ahead of myself, silly me; I forgot that we will, of course, beat Napoli before hand.

Tell me, did this same Hull team really beat Liverpool 3-1 on the weekend — really? Because they were pants, Championship fodder if ever I have seen some this season.

Steve Bruce may have ordered a bus and tried to park it on our eighteen yard line but only a mini bus arrived. The Good Guys just blew them away with Wengerball of the highest calibre. I think you could probably count on one hand the amount of times that Hull touched the ball in the first twenty minutes such was the control and domination that Arsenal had over their opponents.

It all started so well, Wenger made predictable changes with one exception. As I took to my seat with fifteen minutes to go I could hear the groans from people as they filed in having realised that Bendtner was starting. I have a certain amount of sympathy for his behaviour; he is tall, handsome, obviously a good footballer at school, got a great contract with Arsenal, has Danish Princesses throwing themselves at him, not to mention the women every time he goes into a night club; I mean, are you sure that you could stop yourself thinking that you were God’s Gift to football if that were you? I am a humble person by nature but I do have a soft spot for Danish Princesses.

Anyway, cometh the hour, cometh the man or should I say cometh the end of a contract, cometh the first signs of some determination.

Big Nicky shut every one of his critics up after just two minutes when Jenkinson sent in one of his trade mark quality crosses for our Dopey Dane to head home from six yards out and boy did he celebrate. It was a fine goal, it settled the nerves and it was clear that the game plan was going to be played out in exactly the way that Wenger had anticipated.

Nik scores v Hull

It is easy now to think that as Hull were so weak it was the perfect opportunity to start with Bendtner but I think there is more to it as I still expect him to be sold in January; the reason being, that his contract ends in the summer, we are not going to give him a new one so he will be able to leave for free. That being the case; the club know that it is far better to get something for him while they can in the January transfer window rather than nothing four months later.

The other thing to remember is that he has played for Birmingham on loan under Steve Bruce and I think Sunderland; they have a history. So I also think there was a lot of “trial” about the decision to start with him last night. We will see, but the most interesting thing about this if it does turn out as I suggest is that Arsenal will buy another striker and that is not might, that is, they will have to and as we all know the signing of a new striker is always exciting.

Back to the game, we were totally dominant in the first half and should have had a hat full but we went into the break with only one goal to show for our effort and while there is only one goal difference in any game there is always the possibility that the opposition could score a lucky equaliser. I am trying to add drama to this aren’t I and I am probably failing. This tension I am trying to create lasted all of two minutes from the restart when Ramsey rolled the ball into the path of Özil to slot home from less than five yards out.

Job done; everyone relaxed and spent the next half an hour looking at the scores of the Chelsea and City games on their smart phones. The substitutions were made with the customary twenty minutes to go. So much for resting Özil, a full ninety minutes for him. Wilshere, Walcott and Arteta came on for a kick about as we saw the game out in an orderly fashion. While I am on a team selection roll I will predict this: Walcott will start up front against Napoli, the Italians have to score three so they will come onto us leaving acres of space and when there is space it’s always Theo time.

This was a comfortable win on a cold night;  the first time in a while we could sit back and allow our finger nails to recover and we need to as they are going to be chewed to the stumps in the coming weeks.

Written by LB

Is Bendtner Unfairly Treated?

November 5, 2013

Did anyone else suffer anti Bendtner comments during the game on Saturday?

The new people this season sitting near me seemed to think that by slagging Bendtner they would some how curry favour with the people who had been there from day one.

Nik home

Well, I don’t see this at all, what exactly has he done wrong since returning? The only crime I can see was missing a chance against Chelsea, for goodness sake Giroud misses chances every game: take Saturday, holy moly, one on one with the keeper and he fluffs his lines badly. If Bendtner had done that there would have been a booing riot.

Bendtner got worse service against the chavs than you or I would receive in a greasy spoon café just off a motorway.

NIk away

The thing that has struck me in every game and cameo that the Great Dane has played in is just how good his movement has been; sadly there are still so many spoilt children at THOF who do not understand such things.

I got a very uncomfortable feeling when he was subbed against the chavs, for a moment I thought there was going to a return to the Dark Ages (Pre Ozil) with full scale booing, fortunately that did not happen but it happened enough to warrant comment.

Perhaps this it’s just me, do you think he is badly treated or does a player deserve all he gets when he states publicly that he will never wear an Arsenal shirt again?

Nik vs spuds

Written by LB

Young Guns Primed …. The Return of the Striking Viking?

September 25, 2013

The games coming like London busses. The Interlull followed by two games a week – but tonight we have the very enjoyable opportunity to see how deep our squad is.

Whether we win or not depends upon how WBA and Steve Clarke approach the game. If as I suspect they put out a first 11 then we are in for a tough evening, if like AFC they go with a weakened team, then we should see an exciting game.

The Capital/Milk/Rumbelow’s/League/Littlewood’s Cup is one we should have won in the past couple of years. The painful loss to the soon-to-be relegated Birmingham is a memory which needs to be replaced by silverware, but my guess is that Mr Wenger will insist his priorities lie elsewhere. Inevitable given our growing injury list.

The one area we could not “stomach” another injury was the attack. With Ox and Pod both out for the foreseeable future it is a blow to hear of Theo’s injury. Young Didit told me over the summer that Mr Walcott was our most valuable player and much would rest upon his fitness – I have to agree. Theo gives something to the team no-one else can and that is searing pace; he may not be the most lethal striker but he scares the bejeesus out of defenders.

It will be a big night for one of our players in particular – you know the one – that Danish nutter. It is good he will make his return away from the “cauldron” that is the Emirates, a cynical crowd could badly affect him. If Nik hits the ground running he could be a major player for us, sadly the evidence of the past few seasons suggests it may be a forlorn hope.

Unbelievably Fabianski was injured on Friday!  I really feel for the man – he has done nothing wrong and yet every time he gets an opportunity he suffers an injury.

Gnabry’s promotion to the first team causes problems. He will be needed at the weekend and this opens up a place for either another MF – Eisfeld most probably or another forward. . Little has been mentioned about our missing man, Mr Park. He is back in training with the first team, so why not let him try and earn his corn?


Come on Arsene, Make the Marketing Dept. happy

We have some experience in the squad and the game is well timed for the return of our Club Captain and the man with Lego hair.

My team:


We can have one of our midfield geniuses on the bench in case of problems, but my inclusion of Park (no, it’s not a joke 😀 ) shows just how bare the cupboard is. Of course, Mr Wenger could choose to start Akpom but I think his time will come – he doesn’t appear strong enough as yet.

As to West Brom. Quite frankly I know next to nothing about them (apart from them employing traitor Anelka.) I am sure they are hard-working and will sweat blood to beat the Mighty Gunners. However, much like the first team, your pre-match writer is taking a day off from researching the opposition!

Much depends upon how Mr Wenger views the CC.  I think he views it purely as a chance to give his youth players experience and if they do well then review at a later stage, as such the draw of a PL side away from home was unfortunate. However, a trophy is there to be won, so let’s go out and win one.


Just because it makes me happy


written by Big Raddy