3 points more important than A4.

April 30, 2016

What is more important  … some ne’er dowells expressing their dissatisfaction or three points in our quest to remain in the CL?

Had this been a non-match day I would have opened a discussion about the  best method of protest but IMO beating Norwich is far more important. All I will say is this – nothing the protesters do will have any effect; nothing will change, nothing.

We go into this game on an unbeaten run of 7 games which under other circumstances would be cause for celebration. We have not lost to Norwich at The Emirates – ever, we have scored 19 goals in our last 4 home games against Norwich. It should bode well.

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But, Norwich are desperate for points, relegation is a real possibility with both their close rivals, Sunderland and Newcastle, picking up points. They have to get something from this afternoon and Arsenal should expect a battle.

How should AFC “set out their stall”(E. Gray 1994). We do not have the players for a physical battle so a focus on our strengths of pace and fast-passing will have to be the order of the day.

So … No Giroud. I would like to see Alexis central with Ozil left and Theo right but that won’t happen! I expect to see Welbz upfront.

With all the midfield fit will Ramsey start? Will Mr Wenger pick both Coquelin and Elneny ahead of the inevitable midfield battle ? Will  the impressive Iwobi be dropped for Wilshire? Will anyone be dropped for Wilshere?

Your guess has as much merit as mine so  – just for once – I make no predictions.

If Arsenal score early – we win.

Short PM today. Sadly, I have little time and a similar amount of inclination 🙂


Friday Rant: Mr Wenger’s News Conference

April 29, 2016

I thought I would write a post based upon the revelations from Mr Wenger’s weekly newscast. The trouble is the same questions are asked and the same answers given.

So  … here it is …

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“Yes, he is back in training and is available for selection …. perhaps”

“I don’t know who will play.”

“Norwich are a strong team.”

“We are mentally strong and have a positive attitude in the squad.”

“The squad will all be fit in time for the Euro’s”

“Financially the club is in fine shape and we can compete with our rivals in the transfer market.”

“No, I do not worry about the fans concerns – there are always fans concerns.”

“I was very impressed with the quality of Chas’s slider videos this morning and look forward to more. It shows the strength and unity of the blog”

Let’s be honest, these news conferences are a waste of time especially for poor Arsene who has done hundreds of them. He gives nothing away and they are purely for the benefit of tired media hacks looking to trip up our manager and engender a misleading hit-provoking headline.

This morning saw a journalist putting words into AW’s mouth about the fan unrest. What the hack was trying to do was get AW to collude in the miscreant’s anti-Arsenal agenda. Thankfully our manager is too intelligent to be drawn into such base journalism.

Can we stop them, please?

written by Big Raddy


Can Canaries shoot down High Flying Gunners?

November 29, 2015

Things have not been working in the last two PL games. One point is not a good enough return against two mediocre teams. Is this a blip or a trend?

This afternoon will tell because on paper we should win this. In the awful event of us losing and Spurs winning we could be 5th this evening.

The return of Ox and Ramsey to the squad gives Mr Wenger some welcome selection choices. Will Mr Wenger use them?

My expectation is that he will have both players on the bench. Campbell was crap at WBA but he was very good on Tuesday night and perhaps he needed a good performance to prove to both himself and AW that he is worth a place in the squad. How many times do we say a player needs a run of games and yet criticise them after just one game? (see Arteta/Debuchy).

Sanchez has had a 5 day break which will take him from the red zone into the pink 🙂 and will surely start. With the wizard Ozil in magnificent form and certainly not in the red we have the tools to win.

A solid defensive performance is essential as is good fortune. WBA scored twice last week and yet had only one shot on target for the whole 95 minutes! Who knows, Norwich could win today without a single shot on target – it happens.

And what of Norwich? Well, it is a lovely town and the cathedral is spectacular. Carrow Road is a friendly and enjoyable ground for away fans. A few years ago I was in Norwich on a Saturday afternoon. Mrs Raddy was in total shopping mode. I checked the time and noticing it was half-time went to the stadium asking if I could watch the remainder of the game for free. The steward invited me in and said “sit in any free seat”. Top bloke.

Alex Neill has already stated that his team will be resolute which is another way of saying “I don’t care if we are at home, we will be parking the bus because it is the only way we stand a chance” (not in those exact word 😉 ). So expect loads of possession, lots of fannying about on the edge of the Norwich box, long ball breakaways aimed at Mbokani, and Arsenal to score from a set piece.

Redmond is their best player this season and will undoubtedly cause problems. My answer is to tell Flamini close him down at every opportunity.

So …. vigilance, continued brilliance from SanZil, clinical finishing and Bob’s you Uncle  – three points on the road and Happy Days.

COYRRG


More points Garnered?

May 11, 2014

With the excitement of next week and fourth place in the bag would you be upset if Mr Wenger played the U-21 side? It is true the three points are handy and will give us our best points tally since 2007 but that doesn’t give us a trophy does it?

Which would be worse, getting beaten or losing RamZil for the final?

For Mr Wenger it is a damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t situation. If he plays a full first team and anyone gets knacked then the press and fans will question his choices, but if  he chooses reserves and we lose, the same people will talk about loss of confidence and lack of respect.

It is a game when 3 subs are simply not enough. The ideal situation would be similar to an England friendly – start with the experimental side for the first 60 mins and then bring on 7 first teamers for a runabout.

Norwich: Doomed to play Championship football unless they can beat us by 17 goals and WBA lose. Anyone think this is likely? Norwich are one of the few teams that almost everyone likes – well, maybe not like , let’s try not many people dislike. It will be sad to see them go.

Unknown

Neil Adams seems a likeable enough chap. Was it the right decision to sack Hughton? Of course it was, he is tainted. Name me one ex-Spurs man who has done well in club management (and before you start, Alf Ramsey is the exception not the rule).

Will Adams keep his job next season?  Who could have predicted that Sunderland would have garnered 13 points from their last 5 games having taken Nul Point (said in a french accent following last night’s Eurovision) from the previous 5? Had this not happened Adams would have kept Norwich up but I feel like his team Adams is doomed.( BTW, where else can one use the word “garnered”? Can one garner some potatoes?)

Norwich are going down because they cannot score. Defensively they are sound, having conceded just 16 goals at home this season which is 4th best in the PL. Both City and Everton have dropped points at Carrow Rd.

Arsenal: As this game will not impact at all upon our season, will this result in the handbrake being released? I expect Norwich to go down fighting which means our players will have to play with the intensity required to win any PL game.

As to the line-up this is my guess …….

nor v arse

There is hardly any chance Mr Wenger will start this midfield but I would like him to. If Diaby is fit enough for the bench then he is fit enough to start. Wilshire and Ramsey to get a 30 minute cameo and OG 5 minutes at the end.  Job done.

This team has enough to beat Norwich though it requires Sanogo to finally get on the scoresheet. Have a blinder today and Mr Wenger could save €40m on a striker in summer – he obviously rates the young Frenchman but until he turns potential into goals there must be question marks.

Norwich: The town has an interesting history. Originally settled by the Iceni tribe  (of whom Boudicea was a leader). They did not take kindly to the Roman arrival and the Italians gave them a proper spanking before making the area the capital of East Anglia. They left around 450 A.D. along with all their fancy dan Roman friends and the land was taken over by the Anglo-Saxons who named it Norwic. Then those pesky Vikings under Swein Forkbeard arrived (whom we met a few weeks ago on our trip to Cardiff) and razed the city before settling there (not the best introduction to the locals!!). Norwich grew and it was mentioned in the Domesday book (1086) that 98 houses were demolished to make way for Norwich Castle. Norwich Cathedral was built not long after.

200px-Norwich_Cathedral,_spire_and_south_transept

Henry 2 and Richard the Lionheart both gave the city it’s charter and Norwich became the only English city ever excommunicated by the Pope! By this time it was the second largest city in England. It remains a lovely, historic city with some highly recommended tea shops!

So ….. last League pre-match of the season and probably one of the hardest to write. What is there interesting to say about a dead rubber?

My hope is for an entertaining game, a win for the good guys and an injury free end to the season

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy


Run to Continue.

April 13, 2013

Let’s be honest. Dig deep inside and search for the the truth. You expect us to secure three points this afternoon.  Go on, Admit it.

If like me you never predict a win for fear of “boking” (Irish for curse) the team, then you will be doing all you can to pretend this is a difficult fixture against a team who have upset us in the recent past, but we all know we should beat Norwich today.

Unknown

Number of Points needed this Afternoon

Let’s look at the reasons for optimism:

Norwich haven’t beaten us in London since 1992

They have never beaten us home and away

We have won 6 of our last 7PL  games

Norwich have only won one of their last 15 games

Norwich have scored just 3 goals in their last 7 away games and have taken just 2 points, nor won away in 2013

We welcome back Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott

GIE’s Parents are attending today

I could continue but, should we lose, the pain of Norwich rubbishing all this evidence would be excruciating!

So, we should be positive, and we should move in third place in the PL (let’s all laugh at Tottenham 😀 ). In my opinion, if the work ethic is in place and the team play with the verve they have shown in recent weeks, ….. Damn, I can’t write it.

Negatives. Merts is out and ermmmm …… oh yes, Diaby is injured.

Norwich have tried to play attacking football but have sadly failed. They play 4-5-1  and in Chris Hughton have a young manager who looks simply ridiculous in a suit and tie. After all, this man still retains the slime and excrescence of N17. All those years of floating in a cesspool take their toll – just look at Glenda Hoddle, Terry Vegetables and Alan Sugar. Nonetheless I will be saddened if they go down – which is a real possibility given that if they lose today they could be just one point from the drop zone.

My Team:

arse v norwich

All right – Take it Easy – Keep your hair on (not in my case), I know Rosicky has been superb and that Ramsey is a ball of energy but this is my post and my team. I believe we should put out our best 11 players,and in my opinion this is the best Arsenal team. Of course, my favourite German (after Michael Schenker) is on the bench.

The fitness of both Wilshere and Walcott will determine the starting 11. If they are only fit enough for the bench I would play Ramsey and The Ox.

As to tactics, we will play as we usually do, and for lovers of decent football I hope Norwich don’t zaparkowac´autobus. An early Arsenal goal will open up the game and of late we have started well. More of the same, please.

Today’s English explorer: Normally I focus upon expedition leaders and their derring-do, men who have taken the plaudits and the titles (assisted greatly by extensive facial hair) but today we will take a look at one of the unsung heroes, because behind every expedition are a number of brave and almost unknown back-up men, Alfred Cheetham (1867-1918) is one of them.

Born in Liverpool into a poor family, he went to sea at an early age, joining the fishing fleets of Hull. He remained a Seaman all his life (highly appropriate for an Arsenal blog!).

Unknown

Hard as Nails

An early trip into the iceworld was as a member of Captain Scott’s South Pole attempt. Sadly, Scott didn’t return from the Pole and a search party was mustered but Cheetham wasn’t chosen as he was a family man, having married young and producing 13 children – these navy chaps are fertile. Cheetham’s next tour to Antarctica was with the Shackleton expedition, one of the most famous and arduous expeditions of all-time. Stuck on the ice through a Polar winter, sheltering under lifeboats as their ship had sunk, Cheetham and his crew-mates waited for the return of Shackleton.

What makes Cheetham notable is that he was on both of the most famous Polar expeditions and survived. What he didn’t survive was the First World War, his ship being torpedoed in 1918.

Win today and the pressure mounts upon our rivals. Draw and the task is harder, Lose and the bubble bursts ……… But we won’t.

written by Big Raddy

Disclaimer. If I have bokked the team and we do not win, BR takes no responsibility.

COYRRG


Narch. Letsbe Avingham.

October 20, 2012

Thank Dennis for that – it’s over .Two weeks of unrelenting football withdrawal. Cold turkey is over and we get our fix this afternoon.

Last time we played the Canaries it was  a roller coaster game at THOF in May; we went one up after 65 seconds, 2-1 down after 30 minutes, 3-2 up and finally allowed Norwich to equalise in the 85th minute. Some bloke scored two for us. Narch played very well but times have changed for the East Anglians, they sit just one point above the dismal QPR having a minus 12 goal difference and only 3 points from 7 games. They have yet to win at home.

History shows we have not lost at Carrow Rd since 1984, however 7 of the last 12 games have been draws.

Norwich: Let us start with their manager. People say (and this includes many Arsenal people) that Chris Hughton is a decent bloke. ……. . Decent Bloke? Which decent bloke plays 300 times for the blue-bellied sheep biters? The man is devil-spawn and guaranteed to take this lovely family club down with the Rangers.  Hughton is so average that Alan Pardew took his job! Nothing more needs saying. Don’t believe me? Check out his record since leaving Newcastle ….. Played 12  won none. And he has a carrot shaped head.

What of his team of flatlanders? Are they a bunch of decent pro’s doing the best for their families and playing honest, open football? 5 goals scored in 7 games tells a story. With just two yellow cards all season it must be said that Norwich are not a team who intimidate their opponents.

Ugly as a Dropped Pie

Who plays for the lovely historic town of Norwich? Well, there is a smattering of ex-miscreants – Bassong & Kane, England’s 3rd choice Mr Ruddy, the hideous but dangerous Grant Holt (sounds like a train station …. two returns to Grant Holt, please). Steve Morison is Holt’s forward partner, born in Enfield plays for Wales and  has a boy named Fenton . The defender Russell Martin was born in Brighton and represents Scotland.  Alan Smith says Wes Hoolahan is a player to watch – if he plays he is a second striker.

Arsenal: We are unbeaten away, scoring freely and defending well (apart from a few set play blips). 7th doesn’t reflect how well we are playing  or how the new boys are adapting to life in the PL.

We have 5 ever present players in the league. Can you guess who they are (without checking)?

The Internationals cost us 2 players, both Theo and Kos are out. Fabianski is out for a few more months. The defence picks itself.

My Team:

Once again, we have a strong bench though Coquelin is out.

Gervinho will be important this afternoon as he seeks to continue his scoring run; his pace and trickery will be of great concern to the Norwich defence. Let us hope he has not been too traumatised by the events in Senegal. I include Ramsey but if Diaby is available he would be the first choice.

Podolski has been a revelation in his attitude to hard work; he has a Mercedes Diesel engine. His ability to drop back and bolster the the left side of defence has allowed us to be very strong in midfield and it is here that we will win the game. I expect Norwich to try and flood the midfield – perhaps not zaparkowac autobus – but nonetheless defend deep. They are at home and surely have to try to entertain and take 3 points.

Further to my shock revelation that there is no way Jack Wilshere will play even a minute today, there is rumour he is in the squad. To play him would be a mistake. AW says he is only 80%, so what is the point?

Whilst you are munching through your cornflakes, let me tell you about the chap below because we like a British hero and fellow certainly fits the bill.

Sir Samuel Baker (great grandfather to Arsenal’s Joe).What this chap did in his lifetime is astonishing. He discovered  Uganda and named Lake Albert, searched for the source of the Nile, was a big game hunter, a fellow of every society known to man, explored on all the continents, was a friend of Edward v11, became Pasha of Egypt, and was a fervent anti-slavery campaigner. He would surely have been a Gooner but died too early.  All this and a fine Beardsman.

An important 3 points today (Yes – I know – they all are). We have to punish teams at the opposite end of the table , we didn’t last season and almost paid the price. There can be little question that Arsenal are the better team, there is only one Norwich player who would get in our squad, let alone our first team (Ruddy). The bookies are expecting us to win at Carrow Rd (odds 4/7)  and as they say, you never see a poor bookie.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy


Fight for the Right: Norwich Prematch

May 5, 2012

Today an acquaintance asked after Arsenal’s weekend opponents. After I explained the significance of this afternoon’s match he said “why worry, it is only a football game.” Firstly, this shows a total misunderstanding of the Raddy psyche, but more to the point, it indicates a lack of understanding of the nature of importance. Let us not be fooled, sex is not important (though the lack of it is!), breathing is not important (though the lack of it is!), what is important is that Arsenal finish the season above the Miscreants crawling their way out of N17.  And beating Norwich is not just important  – it is vital.

If one had to choose an opponent to play in this situation it would be a mid-table team who had an attacking, open footballing philosophy. Norwich fit the bill perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for better opponents. But ….. in recent seasons, we have seen an Arsenal team crumble under the weight of expectation so regularly that we can no longer trust them to take 3 points in these circumstances. Hence the nerves.

And there are nerves aplenty. Fans will be taking lucky routes to the ground, wearing lucky socks, knickers, shirts, hats, eating lucky sweets, drinking in lucky pubs, sitting in lucky seats etc etc. And from what I read on the site Corks will be much in evidence 😀

What is needed today is strength of character. We are a better team in every area than Norwich and under normal circumstances 3 points would be de rigeur;  should our boys perform there will be little of concern. Any doubts within the team must be dispelled -as such the team Leaders have to get in the faces of the more reticent players and fire them up.

We need some of this ….

with a large spoon of this

It is the time for RvP to lead from the front, for TV to inspire his defence and for Song to grab the game by the scruff of it’s neck . Time for our wingers to be lethal in front of goal and for our shots to be on target. No quarter must be given and every ball fought for. Norwich will not just cede 3 points, they can be a dangerous opponent. Concentration from the whole team is essential, and should things go awry we must find the Sagna spirit shown in the Spurs game.

…. none of this.

The team almost picks itself. We have a solid and dependable Back 5, with either Gibbs or Santos at LB depending upon the opposition. I would play Santos today.

My Team:

One hopes that Mr Wenger decides to be more attacking at home and play O.C from the start but I cannot see him taking the risk.  In such an important game it would be foolish to experiment and as such I expect him to play safe.

The last home game and therefore this season’s final Gooner. I think it should be a man who never gave up, a proper Gooner and a working class hero. To those of a certain age the Henry Cooper / Cassius Clay fight at Wembley is a stand out point in sporting history. Our ‘Enry was the first man to knock Clay down and had it not been for some Angelo Dundee skulduggery Cooper would have won. Instead he got badly injured and forced to retire. It was a special night and made ‘Enry’s ‘Ammer a household name. In the rematch at his beloved Highbury Stadium Cooper lost and soon after retired.  Twice Sports Personality of the Year and made a Knight in 2000 (the only boxer ever to be knighted) Sir Henry Cooper remained a National Treasure until his death in 2011.

and most of all Our ‘Enry’s courage and determination

Once again faith will be the bedrock of our game – a belief that through teamwork Arsenal will win. And today even more than normal the fans have to be behind the team. No losing patience, no getting on the players backs – we need the type of atmosphere created against Spurs, Milan and City. To those lucky enough to be going – make it loud!

Today is the 900th game of Mr Wenger Arsenal career, it is also likely to be the final home game of Pat Rice’s working life at Arsenal. So, let’s win in style and give them something to remember .

Written by Big Raddy


Norwich Reserves 0 – 5 Arsenal Reserves Match Report

February 22, 2012

Last night GiE and I, both based in Norwich, had the pleasure of watching a strong and keen Arsenal Reserves side take on a young and significantly less experienced Norwich City Reserves side, at Carrow Road last night.

2000 odd fans

Arsenal line-up was a welcome surprise: it was a mixture of young and promising talent with experienced players who were in need of a game. James Shea was in goal and Miquel (Captain) and Angha were our CB’s, with Jenkinson and Meade our FB’s. In midfield we played Yennaris, Benayoun and Ozyakup and upfront we played Arshavin, Chamakh and Park. Chamakh came off after 30 minutes, straight after a strong challenge on him, and he was replaced by Benik Afobe (who again was later replaced by Ansah).

Young Gooners

Arsenal meant business from the start as all 11 players played with verve and focus.

The Unusual Suspects

This team had no difficulties in finding each other and neat interplay was regularly mixed with long diagonal balls and clever passes right through the middle of the Norwich defence by the very impressive Ozyakup, my ‘man of the match’ Benayoun, and a very energetic, yet very smart playing Yennaris. Arshavin had a very energetic game too; in fact, I have never seen him work harder than in last night’s game, and together with Benayoun they led this Arsenal reserves side to a well-deserved victory.

We have seen Yennaris play at RB but he was very comfortable in midfield last night, with a fine first touch, great ability to pass the ball round and with enormous tenacity. Together with Ozyakup he formed a wall in midfield that Norwich was seldom able to penetrate. As a result, Bennayoun and Arshavin were able to control the attacking play in front of the Norwich 18 yard box with ease, very much helped by the desire of Park and Chamakh to make runs and play link-up football.

It was great to see us own the midfield last night; boss the entire area in front of the Norwich defence and play our great brand of football. Norwich City had no answer to it, as there was a massive gap in quality and experience between the sides on the night.

Arshavin almost scored after a great ball over the top through the middle by Yennaris in the fifth minute: he tried to lob the keeper his effort went just over the bar. A minute later Arsenal was in front: a mazy run by Benayoun leads to a shot against the post and Park is there to calmly slot-in the rebound: 1-0. In the 20th minute, Park takes a ferocious free-kick that just misses the target: a very impressive effort.

Park Celebrates Wildly

After a uncomfortable fall, Chamakh was replaced by Afobe.

Chamakh munches carpet

Another impressive, mazy run by Arshavin in the 40th minute leaves the Norwich goalkeeper no other option than to foul him: Afobe steps up to take the penalty but Wooton makes a great save to his left.

Afobe Can't Believe He Got That One

Two minutes later Arshavin seems to want to cross the ball to Park; the Russian’s effort is off-target but somehow floats into the top-corner to the surprise of Wooton and anybody else at Carrow Road: 2-0.

Arshavin Celebrates Wildly

After the break

Jenkinson was replaced by Ebecilio who played in the deeper centre midfield role and freeing Ozyakup to play further up the pitch, Yennaris moved to right back.

Arsenal continue as before: pressuring Norwich in their own half with good ball circulation, high levels of possession, but also with real penetration and attacking creativity. In the 58th minute, Benayoun feeds a clever ball through the middle form just outside the 18 yard box to find the clever run of Afobe. The latter controls the ball well and scores the third goal with real composure: 3-0.

Seven minutes later, Benayoun creates some space for himself to take a shot from the left inside the box, and although his shot is saved by Wooton, the rebound ends up with Arshavin who then scores the fourth goal, his second on the night, with composure: 4-0. Benayoun finally gets his well-deserved goal in the 87th minute: Ozyakup, who played a bit further up the pitch in the second half, plays a fine through-ball to Benny who then scores with a well-timed chip over the keeper: 5-0.

Summary

Norwich had a few half-decent opportunities, and maybe could have had a goal, but Arsenal was a class apart last night. Shea had not much to do, but he was a safe pair of hands when it mattered. We could hear him talking to the players and he oozed confidence throughout the game. Miquel was very calm and professional – a real class act, and together with the also impressive Angha, who tends to operate a bit more in the background compared to the young Spaniard, he controlled the defence on the night. Meade, our LB, also had a good game: he is tenacious, has a good first touch, protects and passes the ball well and was always willing to make runs. It was also great to see Jenkinson again, who made some good runs and had a relatively easy night (he only played the first half).

All our midfielders were great on the night, but we both thought that Ozyakup was excellent throughout the game. This is the first time I have seen him play, and we should take into account that the Norwich Reserves team was not much of opposition last night, but Ozyakup was imperious at times: always calm on the ball, superb awareness of the game, great passes and through-balls, strong physical presence, and very energetic. Another great prospect and he is Dutch as well!!

Ozyakup - A Good Prospect

I also really liked Yennaris, especially in the first half when he played in midfield next to Ozyakup. In the second half he was restored to the RB position (replacing Jenkinson) and he was skinned a couple of times by Norwich players which led to dangerous situations in our box, but he still had a decent game.

Arshavin really worked hard tonight and thoroughly deserved his brace. Benayoun was superb: he played with so much energy and joy and that really got the team going. Park had a good game too: in the second half he often was away from goal linking up with the midfielders and setting players up for an attack with clever passes. Afobe really impressed me on the night, but he did not last that long, as he only played 45 minutes (he only just recovered from a long injury). Afobe was replaced by Zak Ansah, but I did not see enough of him to pass judgement. Chamakh started ok, but went off after 30 minutes, so hard to judge his performance as well.

Afobe in full flight

All in all, a great night of football, on a relatively mild winter’s night in February: a very welcome diversion from the shenanigans on and off the pitch of our first team at the moment. On the evidence of the night, there a few players coming through the reserves who are ready to join the first team rather sooner than later.

Written by Total Arsenal

TA has not left me with much to write about as he has given a very full report of the game. However there are a few observations that I made during the game, which I will briefly outline.

  • The most rigid part of our formation was the back three: Miquel, Angha, and Ozyakup (who played the quarterback role in midfield) gave Arsenal a very solid base to build from, whenever Miquel won a header under pressure he tried and mainly succeeded to find the feet of Ozyakup.
  • It was hard to predict who would play where upfront: The five most advanced players were Yossi, AA23, Yennaris, Park and Chamakh (replaced by Afobe). They rotated through the advance positions constantly, a fluidity that we are currently missing in the first team which seems far more rigid.
  • Most width was provided by the full backs: Whoever was most advanced on the wing at the time was making runs infield with the ball giving the full backs space to come round, they didn’t go early or play on top of the winger they waited for space and exploited it, was particularly impressed by young Meade at Left Back.
  • Long diagonal balls: As TA says in the match report neither Oyzakup, Miquel or Angha were frightened of looking for long diagonal balls, even AA23 got into the act when he had dropped deeper into midfield making himself a yard and delivering a fantastic ball into the feet of Jenkinson.
  • We have someone shorter than Arshavin: Look between Chamakh and Angha and you will see Jermaine Meade. I came up with a song (he played left back). “He’s five foot three, He’s five foot three, who needs Gael Clichy, we’ve got the Meade”
Views through a cloud of smoke and vodka by Gooner in Exile