First Home Game of the Season … Arsenal vs Burnley

August 17, 2019

Emery had some very complimentary words for Dyche and his Burnley team. He commented that they were among the best teams in the league when it came to long balls, physicality and fighting for the second balls. Emery knows their game plan and he knows their top players.

Will he adapt our team to be able to cope with their game plan or will he try to impose our pace and trickery to them especially since we re playing at home.?

I expect a bit of both so here is my expected line up with Luiz being handed his first start and us to play in a 352:

This team has pace and physicality. Only question mark would be on Guendouzi as he could well give way to LT or eventually Mkhy.

I say it will be a tough battle but we will come out victorious. 2-1 with Auba and Chambers to score while we concede a goal on a corner courtesy of Tarkowski.

Don’t forget that Burnley won 3-0 in their opening game with Barnes scoring two and their left back providing assists as well. We know the danger but let s keep our good record vs Burnley and put in a strong display. CYYG!



Battlers or Bottlers?

April 24, 2019

Big night for AFC and Gooners are concerned, my guess is that you are too. Yet it all looked so good just a week ago …

It doesn’t take much to burst the bubble of Gooner’s confidence, does it? I don’t understand why this should be – we are not the Nearly Men of N17. We have a trophy cabinet which provides evidence of Arsenal’s ability to grind out results and win trophies. Until just 2 years ago we had been in the CL for 19 successive years, this is not evidence of a team of bottlers.

In other words – we can win tonight.

The Great Dane

Battlers or Bottlers was part of yesterday’s comment discussion. One game will not give a true reflection but IMO we have finally got a team of battlers. Name two players who you think are not up for the fight (OK – I would have to agree – now name three 😀  ). Lack of effort was not the reason we lost on Sunday, it was poor team selection and individual errors.

What of Wolves? Nuno Wagnerito has done a fantastic job and must be in contention for Manager of the Year (Media Darling Klopp will win it). 7th in the table, in the FAC Final  with a team just promoted. Excellent. Expect to see him at Spurs when the Podgy One leaves. Midfield is their strength. They have a good home record, unbeaten in 9.

We, on the other hand, are crap away. This gives cause for concern. The footballing Gods smiled upon us at Watford, we must do all we can to attract good fortune. I will be sacrificing a virgin (if I can find on in Østerbro).

Losing Ramsey was horrible but The Big Greek chap is back and that could be a deciding factor. He has been immense alongside the rejuvenated Koscielny. Keep Mustafi in London, AMN on the right, Nacho on the left. Back 4. Kushti.

The pundits are convinced of a home win. Who do you trust – Lawrenson, Merson, or Unai Emery?

Win 7 games and Top of The World, Ma. Not asking much 🙂


A Festive Season Treat or Too Much Mead Hangover?

December 28, 2017

Last season we got hammered by Palace at Selhurst Park by a CP team in trouble. Today  we go there in questionable form and Palace are once again in trouble. Recipe for an embarrassing defeat? Let’s hope not.

Any club that employs Roy Hodgson has my respect, he seems like a top bloke and it takes courage to employ a manager committed to football to take a team out of the relegation zone. Most clubs go for the Hoofball merchants like Moyes, Allardyce etc. I hope they stay up and go on an extended run of good form in the New Year.

Palace spent big money and have some excellent players, players whom the press were linking Arsenal with  – Zaha, Townshend, Benteke and Cabaye. Defence is their problem and one we must exploit.

It is time Sanchez returned to the form we know and love. I do not believe it is lack of desire which is his problem, probably the opposite.

Monreal may be crocked, so is Ramsey. and OG.

My Team:


Mustafi      Koscielny     Kolasinac

Bellerin    Xhaka   Wilshere    Maitland- Niles


Lacazette    Sanchez

Perhaps Iwobi will get a start in place of M-N or Holding could replace Monreal. Who knows except Mr Wenger?

Our form has been strange, consistency conspicuously lacking. One week we are very good in defeat and the next poor in victory.

We need a win and an improvement upon our terrible away form….

Let it start this afternoon.



About time we turned over the Mickey Mousers

December 22, 2017

The first team will be back on show at the Emirates this evening after Tuesday’s exhilarating performance from the second stringers.

This game could set the tone for a very happy festive period. The players owe us a special win after their dismal away performance at Anfield.

Maybe Sanchez will realise he can boost his number of potential January suitors by putting in a decent show with some goals.

Will we revert to a back three now that Shkodran’s bruises have faded? Iwobi’s Mum will be disappointed if he doesn’t play as he adds much needed creativity and link play.

Presumably Lacazette will be back in the starting line up. Unless Sanchez is shoe-horned into the striker’s role.

Perhaps Xhaka needs a break to recapture (?) some form. Maybe Maitland-Niles (Con) could play DM as Micky saw him play there once against Reading.

Let’s hope we can start creating chances again and even better, take some of them.

My team


Kos …. Shkod… Nacho

Hector…Jack…Ainsley….The Beast


Up The Arsenal.

Up North Again.

November 26, 2017

Our away form is a worry and a trip to Burnley, which a couple of seasons ago would have been one filled with optimism, is now a concern.

Chapeau off to Burnley who have done remarkably; a team with little money, small crowds and limited resources, are not only keeping a place in the PL but currently in the in 7th, level on points with the Mighty Arsenal. It shows what hardwork, playying as a team and good tactics can do. Sean Dyche will undoubtedly go onto bigger clubs as he has ta touch of the George Graham about him – an ability to create a united club.


As to Arsenal, how do we break this away hoodoo? The same way that Burnley do it – hard work, cohesive tactics and the odd piece of exceptional creativity. Just how we played last weekend.

We know what to expect, at least 65% AFC possession and Burnley looking for goals from the counter and set plays. We are used to games following this pattern.

Almost everyone is fit so there will be selection headaches for Mr Wenger but I expect the same team as entertained us so royally against the Miscreants.

My Team:


Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac


Lacazette    Sanchez

This is our best starting 11 and with Welbeck, Giroud etc on the bench we have a damned good first team.

Weather today will be rubbish, cold and wet. Referee will need to be alert and consistent. Much has been written about how lucky we were with the decisions vs Spurs. Poppycock.  We won because we were the better team. More of the same today please.



Why are we going backwards?

January 10, 2017

Jan 10th 2016.

Arsenal are top of the table with 43 points.

Leicester the same point total.

MC 3rd with 40

Spurs 4th with 36

MU 6th with 34

Liverpool 9th  31 pts

Chelsea   14th  24 pts.



Jan 10th 2017

Chelsea  49 points

Liverpool 44

Spurs   42

MC   42

Arsenal    41

MU     39

We have just two points less than this time last season. Chavs have 20 more points! Liverpool 13 more, MC 2 , Spurs 6 and MU 5.

Only City are consistent despite the addition of Guardiola

What is happening is that either the clubs above us have improved enormously or the clubs below us have worsened.  Or is there another reason?

written by Big Raddy

Hey, here’s a crazy thought.

June 16, 2013

We all know the Premier League will have oodles of extra cash from next season due to the extra TV money coming in, you know the adverts running for a certain company with the dutch skunk fronting their campaign. The one with a slow-mo shot of the traitorous Judas performing a bicycle kick .

Every club will gain more revenue, while we at the Arsenal will soon have extra revenue from better commercial deals coming through also, yet something bothers me about that.

The automatic assumption made is that more money coming in means better buying power in the transfer market but therein lies the rub.

The extra revenue is going to go straight into the hands of agents, and their clients, and effectively out of the game and into prestige car dealerships and retailers of bling and various other “tasteful” accoutrements of success – hell, you could even splash out on jewellery from Big time Bendtner’s N3 range.


Now call me a wide-eyed reactionary but how about if all the Premier League clubs got to together to agree ticket price reductions so that hard pressed, and not so well off, supporters can afford to go to the games?

It’s often being said that attendances are falling at many grounds with the Grove seeing less than full attendance compared to the situation 5 or 6 years ago.

If ticket prices are reduced to any extent surely the positive PR and the extra atmosphere created by the fully occupied ground would help to bridge some of the disconnect I see merging between the players(and potentially the Clubs) and supporters ?

As the difference between what players and supporters earn reaches inter dimensional distances the growing resentment at underperforming players can only be exacerbated by the jaw-dropping wages they earn and anticipated rises in weekly wages(anyone on a deal less than £120k/week will seem like a pauper).

You’ve all heard the shouts from the lower tiers “You get £80k a week and you can’t even kick the ball straight !!” and then “Now you’ve got your new contract you can’t be arsed to put in half the effort you did before !!”, these being the expletive deleted versions as this is a family blog.

Being one of the resident AA bean counters I’m well aware that player wage inflation is simply a reaction to supply and demand, but wouldn’t it be a nice change of pace if for once extra money coming into football went back to those people who are the lifeblood of the game?

Namely us, the supporters ?

By Charybdis1966

Disheartening lethargic display

October 21, 2012

Reading back through the comments during and after the game, the disappointment was intense.

Largely, I expect that before the game most gooners had felt that we should come home with all three points from Carrow Road. By the time it got to the last ten minutes of the game I would have settled for a point even though both of the Manchester clubs and the chavs had come from behind to win their games earlier in the day. The days of our Arsenal swashbuckling their way to a victory from the jaws of defeat seem such a long time ago.

The stats for the game tell you nothing of how poorly we played. They say we had thirteen shots to Norwich’s  seven ……… THIRTEEN, can anyone remember that many because I can’t and seven of them were on target. Oh, I do remember Ruddy catching the ball a couple of times but they were hardly close.

We had 62% possession according to the BBC, I’d rather have 30% and make it count for something. In truth, we didn’t ever look like scoring because we really didn’t try very hard.

Maybe it was Arteta being pulled out of position protecting the space left by Santos, maybe it was Podolski carrying an ankle injury, maybe it was Vermaelen not playing as a steady centre-back, maybe it was Gervihno being trapped and Santi’s radar being switched off and Giroud just not seeing enough of the ball but this Arsenal hardly played as a team.

I’d noticed similar problems against West Ham but we got lucky and managed to score and win that game.

This team have for some reason stopped playing like a team. Is the Theo question having a destablising effect on the dressing-room? Have the frailties that stopped previous squads pushing themselves forward hit this squad already? The early gung-ho, look at us, we’re the mighty Arsenal has vanished.

Yesterday we returned to passing backwards and rarely running with the ball through the mid-field to frighten and open up the opposition. The Norwich players were on their toes and they seemed to know exactly what we were going to do and they were ready to cut out our passing almost every time. We on the other hand were extremely lucky to get away with a 1-0 scoreline, I feel.

I would say we were undone in the final third but that doesn’t explain why so little of the play actually got into the final third.

You have to wonder what the morale is like after a defeat like that. When we lost to Chelsea it was as a result of poor defending of set-plays, they scored two goals that we should have defended better but at least we were trying to score and on the balance of the play probably we were good for a draw. Yesterday a goalkeeping error helped  Norwich to a goal but it wasn’t in the 85th minute, it was in the 20th minute, we still had plenty of time to get into the game and turn the screw. No-one’s head seemed to be in the right place.

Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla and Gervihno will get us goals this season as will Theo, The Ox and Ramsey but the play has to lead to a goal scoring opportunity and yesterday it didn’t.  We had ten corners and they just weren’t good enough.

I’m very sad because I was really looking forward to watching this team play again and I’m disappointed that we’ve slipped further behind the leaders with this loss. I know we’re only eight games in and it’s a long race but we should be gaining ground not dropping down the table.

Luckily there’s not much time to hide under the rock, licking the wounds and an injury to The Ox doesn’t help when trying to look for positives but Jack was there, ready and willing even though AW didn’t send him into the fray. Other players that teams find unplayable like Theo and Diaby will hopefully return soon and Gibbs and Koscielny give us more options in defence.

Did we have a captain out there today? Vermaelen was wearing the armband but I didn’t much in the way of rousing the team from him. AW has to find an answer to this fairly quickly, in games like this one when we play in this way we are rudderless and that can’t help with team harmony either.

The connection that was in evidence at the start of the season between this group of players must return at some point, sooner rather than later huh?

Written without humour by peachesgooner

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